The authors suggest that “only highly contaminated waters could affect the most sensitive [aquatic] species,” but when considering the potential of high anti-infective concentrations to contribute to the spread of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, indirect impact on human health must be considered.
Anti-infectives comprise several classes of biologically active compounds such as antibiotics, synthetic sources such as antimicrobials and some antifungals. Anti-infectives are constantly discharged at trace levels in natural waters near urban centers and agricultural areas. They represent a cause for concern because of their potential contribution to the spread of anti-infective resistance in bacteria and other effects on aquatic biota.
Available data concerning three classes of antibiotics (macrolides, quinolones and sulfonamides) and the individual compound trimethoprim in urban wastewater in three geographic areas (East Asia, Europe and North America) indicated significantly higher concentrations of these products in raw wastewater compared with treated wastewater.
The authors cite research suggesting that the current tendency toward concentrated animal feeding operations means the occurrence of anti-infectives in agricultural wastewater may increase in the near future. Moreover, urban water conservation strategies, while critical for ensuring adequate water supplies, also mean lower wastewater volumes and thus an increase in anti-infective levels because of lower dilution.
“More research is necessary, especially for low- to middle-income countries, which may be more impacted by anti-infective contamination than high-income countries because of less extended public sewage infrastructures, higher rates of self-prescription and often less strict industrial emissions legislations,” wrote first author Pedro A. Segura and colleagues.
“The cumulative effects of anti-infectives in wastewater are not yet known,” said EHP editor-in-chief Hugh A. Tilson, PhD. “Further studies need to be conducted to moderate the impact of anti-infectives in the aquatic environment in the future.”
Other authors of the paper included Matthieu François, Christian Gagnon and Sébastien Sauvé. This study was supported by the Fonds de Recherche sur la Nature et les Technologies du Québec, the St. Lawrence Action Plan, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation. The authors declare they have no competing financial interests.
The article is available free of charge at http://www.ehponline.org/members/2009/11776/11776.html.
EHP is published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. EHP is an Open Access journal. More information is available online at http://www.ehponline.org/. Brogan & Partners Convergence Marketing handles marketing and public relations for the publication and is responsible for creation and distribution of this press release.
Julie Hayworth-Perman | EurekAlert!
Further reports about: > Anti-infectives in Water > Antimicrobials > EHP > Environmental Health > Health > Science TV > agricultural areas > agriculture > anti-infectives > antibiotic resistance > antifungals > drinking water > environmental contaminants > environmental risk > human health > macrolides > quinolones > raw wastewater > sensitive aquatic species > sulfonamides > trimethoprim
Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....
A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...
Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision
Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
20.07.2017 | Information Technology
20.07.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy