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Antibiotic resistant bacteria survived from UV disinfection: Safety concerns on genes dissemination

Guo, Mei-Ting, Kong, Cen
Chemosphere 2019 v.224 pp. 827-832
antibiotic resistance, antibiotic resistance genes, bacteria, disinfection, irradiation, photoreactivation, risk, ultraviolet radiation
Antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) are the emerging contaminants leading to a serious worldwide health problem. Although disinfection like ultraviolet (UV) irradiation could remove part of ARB and ARGs, there still are residual ARB and ARGs in the effluent of wastewater treatment plants.Conjugative transfer is main concern of the risk of ARGs and little is known about the effects of UV disinfection on the transfer ability of the non-inactivated ARB in the effluent which will enter the environment. Hence the influences of UV irradiation and reactivation on ARB conjugative transfer ability were studied under laboratory condition, focusing on the survival bacteria from UV irradiation and the reactivated bacteria, as well as their descendants. The experimental results imply that even 1 mJ/cm2 UV disinfection can significantly decrease the conjugative transfer frequency of the survival bacteria. However, viable but not culturable state cells induced by UV can reactivate through both photoreactivation and dark repair and retain the same level of transfer ability as the untreated strains. This finding is essential for re-considering about the post safety of UV irradiated effluent and microbial safety control strategies were required.