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Title: Evaluation of Metagenomic-Enabled Antibiotic Resistance Surveillance at a Conventional Wastewater Treatment Plant
Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) receive a confluence of sewage containing antimicrobials, antibiotic resistant bacteria, antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), and pathogens and thus are a key point of interest for antibiotic resistance surveillance. WWTP monitoring has the potential to inform with respect to the antibiotic resistance status of the community served as well as the potential for ARGs to escape treatment. However, there is lack of agreement regarding suitable sampling frequencies and monitoring targets to facilitate comparison within and among individual WWTPs. The objective of this study was to comprehensively evaluate patterns in metagenomic-derived indicators of antibiotic resistance through various stages of treatment at a conventional WWTP for the purpose of informing local monitoring approaches that are also informative for global comparison. Relative abundance of total ARGs decreased by ∼50% from the influent to the effluent, with each sampling location defined by a unique resistome (i.e., total ARG) composition. However, 90% of the ARGs found in the effluent were also detected in the influent, while the effluent ARG-pathogen taxonomic linkage patterns identified in assembled metagenomes were more similar to patterns in regional clinical surveillance data than the patterns identified in the influent. Analysis of core and discriminatory resistomes and general ARG more » trends across the eight sampling events (i.e., tendency to be removed, increase, decrease, or be found in the effluent only), along with quantification of ARGs of clinical concern, aided in identifying candidate ARGs for surveillance. Relative resistome risk characterization further provided a comprehensive metric for predicting the relative mobility of ARGs and likelihood of being carried in pathogens and can help to prioritize where to focus future monitoring and mitigation. Most antibiotics that were subject to regional resistance testing were also found in the WWTP, with the total antibiotic load decreasing by ∼40–50%, but no strong correlations were found between antibiotics and corresponding ARGs. Overall, this study provides insight into how metagenomic data can be collected and analyzed for surveillance of antibiotic resistance at WWTPs, suggesting that effluent is a beneficial monitoring point with relevance both to the local clinical condition and for assessing efficacy of wastewater treatment in reducing risk of disseminating antibiotic resistance. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
2004751
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10256880
Journal Name:
Frontiers in Microbiology
Volume:
12
ISSN:
1664-302X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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