Waste Treatment Plants: Antibiotic Resistance Factories

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 06 March 2019


Waste Treatment Plants: Antibiotic Resistance Factories

A 'Post-Antibiotic World?'
University of Southern California, March 5, 2019.


Recycling Resistance
“The products of wastewater treatment have been found to contain trace amounts of antibiotic resistant DNA. These products are often reintroduced to the environment and water supply, potentially resulting in the spread of antibiotic resistance.”

Next Destination
"We're quickly getting to a scary place that's called a "post-antibiotic world," where we can no longer fight infections with antibiotics anymore because microbes have adapted to be resilient against those antibiotics."

Engines of Antibiotic Destruction
"Unfortunately, engineered water treatment systems end up being sort of a hot-bed for antibiotic resistance."

Biological Filters
“...one of the common ways in which the wastewater is treated is with a membrane bioreactor, which uses both a filtration system and a biological process where microscopic bacteria consume waste products.”

Bio Filters are Engines of Antibiotic Resistance
“...the bacteria encounters the antibiotics and expresses resistance genes that reduce effectiveness of these medicines. These resistance genes can then be passed on from parent to daughter cell and between neighbors through a process known as horizontal gene transfer.”

Resistance Escapes from "Biofilters" into Environment
“A typical wastewater treatment plant produces tons of biomass every day. Once treated, it is disposed of in landfills or used as a fertilizer for agriculture and livestock feed crops.”

Treatment Producing Super-Resistant Bacteria
“...results indicated multi-drug resistance in which bacteria had genes allowing for resistance to multiple classes of antibiotics.”
(Which are then put back into our environment and food chain.)

"Regardless of the influent antibiotics, whether it's just one or really low concentrations, there's likely a lot of multi-drug resistance that's spreading."

No Stopping 'Em
(see Refs below)
“One plasmid may carry resistance genes for several different types of antibiotics, resulting in positive correlations between one type of antibiotic and the resistance gene of another.”

“...free-floating plasmids can easily make it through the filtration system in the treatment process and exit the plant in the effluent.”


Recent Research

March 8, 2019

Sewage Reveals Levels of Antimicrobial Resistance Worldwide


March 6, above

A 'Post-Antibiotic World?'


Feb 26, 2019

Don’t Cut Yourself:
Your Risks of Deadly, Antibiotic-Resistant Infections are Rising
Antimicrobial Resistance in Europe Shows no Signs of Slowing Down


Health News, 2018: Agricultural & Human Antibiotic Waste Treatment does Not Work


Antibiotic Resistance Rising

Health News: Plasmid Sharing Party, Spreading Bacterial Resistance Defeating Antibiotics


Bacteria Wars: Behavior, Strategy, Resistance, and Prospects


Two Works of Research: Bacteria Moving Effectively to Counter Human Antibiotics


Antibiotic Resistance Can Spread Through The Air


Survey of Experts
Health & Fitness News: Assessing Risks of Antibiotic Resistance, Survery of Global Researchers


HEALTH & FITNESS NEWS, 2018 Superbug Patrol: Watching them Carefully



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antibiotic resistance, waste treatment, plants, factories of resistance, ushering in, a, post antibiotic world


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