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
Despite government claims, orangutan populations have not increased. Call for better monitoring
06.11.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Increasing frequency of ocean storms could alter kelp forest ecosystems
30.10.2018 | University of Virginia
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
14.11.2018 | Life Sciences
14.11.2018 | Life Sciences
14.11.2018 | Earth Sciences