Occurrence and attenuation of antibiotic residues and the development of bacterial resistance in wastewater and effluent.

Dr. Abed Athamna

The occurrence of antibiotic residues in treated wastewater is a known phenomenon. The concentration of selected antibiotic residues, their attenuation and transport processes will be examined in all stages of wastewater treatment in several purification plants, from raw sewage to effluent. This will be carried out in order to study their chemical, biological and physical interactions with organic matter and other possible contaminants in wastewater and sludge (i.e. sorption and bio-degradation). These results will define the actual levels of contamination within the effluent water released into rivers and streams, used for irrigation and infiltrated to groundwater. Understanding of these processes will assist in the innovative study aimed at examining the role of the environment in the development and acquisition of bacterial resistance. The basic assumption is the bacterial resistance can be achieved by two main mechanisms: exposure of non-resistant bacteria to antibiotic residues throughout the different stages of treatment and/or exposure of non-resistant bacteria to resistant bacteria in wastewater (conjugation).

Keywords
Antibiotic residues, Bacteria resistance, conjugation, wastewater