A framework for standardized qPCR-targets and protocols for quantifying antibiotic resistance in surface water, recycled water and wastewater
Water environments are increasingly recognized as a conduit for the spread of antibiotic resistance, but there is need to standardize antibiotic resistance monitoring protocols to ensure comparability across studies. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) is attractive as a sensitive means of quantifying antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and has been applied broadly over the past two decades to various water matrices. QPCR avoids challenges and biases associated with culture-based methods, providing a reproducible and highly sensitive measure of ARGs carried across a bacterial community. However, there are numerous quality assurance and other aspects of protocols that need to be addressed to ensure that measurements are representative and comparable across studies.
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