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The Effect of Wastewater Treatment on Antibiotic Resistance in Escherichia coli and Enterococcus sp

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The effects of wastewater treatment on the proportion of Escherichia coli and Enterococcus sp. resistant to specific antibiotics were investigated at two facilities in Davis County, Utah, one of which received hospital waste. Samples were taken from the influent, effluent before disinfection, and secondary anaerobic sludge digester effluent. There was very little difference in antibiotic resistance among E. coli in the inflow waters of the plants but the plant receiving hospital waste had a significantly higher proportion of antibiotic resistant Enterococcus. The effect of wastewater treatment on antibiotic resistance was more pronounced on enterococci than E. coli. Although some increases in antibiotic resistance were observed, the general trend seemed to be a decrease in resistance, especially in the proportion of multidrug resistant Enterococcus sp.

Keywords: Escherichia; sewage; wastewater

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2007

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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