Antibiotic resistance occurrences and proliferation in activated sludge have attracted more and more attention nowadays. However, the role which extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) plays on the antibiotic resistance is not clear. The changes and correlation among EPS, tetracycline (TC) resistant bacteria (TRB) and TC resistance genes (TRGs) of sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) were investigated. Performance of SBR without TC was compared with two other SBRs to which different amounts of TC were added. Total average EPS contents were found to increase significantly from 66mgg-1 VSS to 181mgg-1 VSS as the TC concentrations increased from 0 to 100μgL-1. As the EPS content increased, TRB in sludge of the three SBRs increased significantly from 105 to 106 colony forming unit mL-1 after being exposed to TC. In addition, the concentrations of three groups of TRGs (copies mL-1) were determined by real-time fluorescence quantitative polymerase chain reaction and followed the order: efflux pump genes>ribosome protected genes>degradation enzyme genes. The numbers of TRGs in the idle stage were larger than those in the aeration sludge. Correlation coefficients (R2) between EPS and TRB in sludge were 0.823 (p<0.01) while the correlation between EPS and total TRGs was poor (R2=0.463, p>0.05). But it showed the same tendency that EPS and TRGs in sludge increased with the increasing of TC.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
- Extracellular polymeric substances (EPS)
- Tetracycline resistance genes (TRGs)
- Tetracycline resistant bacteria (TRB)