Main content area

Removal of fecal indicator bacteria and antibiotic resistant genes in constructed wetlands

Lamori, Jennifer G., Xue, Jia, Rachmadi, Andri T., Lopez, Gerardo U., Kitajima, Masaaki, Gerba, Charles P., Pepper, Ian L., Brooks, John P., Sherchan, Samendra
Environmental science and pollution research international 2019 v.26 no.10 pp. 10188-10197
Bacteroidales, Enterococcus, Escherichia coli, antibiotic resistance, constructed wetlands, enzymes, erythromycin, genetic markers, indicator species, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, resistance genes, surface water, wastewater
Wastewater discharge evidently increased bacterial diversity in the receiving waterbodies. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a constructed wetland in reducing fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) and antibiotic resistant genes (ARGs). We determined the prevalence and attenuation of fecal indicator bacteria including Escherichia coli and enterococci, along with ARGs, and human-associated Bacteroidales (HF183) markers by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) method. Three types of water samples (inlet, intermediate, and outlet) from a constructed wetland were collected once a month from May to December in 2013. The overall reduction of E. coli was 50.0% based on culture method. According to the qPCR result, the overall removal rate of E. coli was only 6.7%. Enterococci were found in 62.5% of the wetland samples. HF183 genetic marker was detected in all final effluent samples with concentration ranging from 1.8 to 4.22 log₁₀ gene copies (GC)/100 ml. Of the ARGs tested, erythromycin resistance genes (ermF) were detected in 79.2% of the wetland samples. The class 1 integrase (intI1) was detected in all water samples with concentration ranging from 0.83 to 5.54 log₁₀ GC/100 ml. The overall removal rates of enterococci, HF183, intI1, and ermF were 84.0%, 66.6%, 67.2%, and 13.1%, respectively.