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Effects of UV light disinfection on tetracycline-resistant bacteria in wastewater treatment plants

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  21st Century Watershed Technology: Improving Water Quality and Environment Conference Proceedings, 21-24 February 2010, Universidad EARTH, Costa Rica  701P0210cd.(doi:10.13031/2013.29407)
Authors:   Hannah R Childress, R Karthikeyan
Keywords:   antibiotic resistance, dark repair, photoreactivation, water quality

As wastewater treatment plants are a potential source of antibiotic resistance in the environment, it is important to study the effects of various treatment technologies upon resistant bacteria. This study investigated the effect of UV treatment on tetracycline-resistant bacteria. Resistant and non-resistant heterotrophic bacteria and E. coli from samples collected from a wastewater treatment plant were cultured and enumerated. The regrowth fractions of the organisms under both photoreactivation and dark repair conditions were calculated and compared between resistant and non-resistant organisms. It was concluded that there is no significant difference between the reduction of resistant and non-resistant bacteria by UV treatment. Thus, UV treatment can be an effective technology for reducing antibiotic-resistant bacteria in wastewater effluent; however, further research should be conducted including other treatment technologies to determine the most effective methods of reducing resistant bacteria in wastewater treatment plant effluent.

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