Monitoring the exposure and emissions of antibiotic resistance: Co-occurrence of antibiotics and resistance genes in wastewater treatment plants
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new momentum to ‘wastewater-based epidemiology’ (WBE). This approach can be applied to monitor the levels of antibiotic-resistant genes (ARGs), which in terms are used to make inferences about the burden of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in human settlements. However, there is still little information about temporal variability in ARG levels measured in wastewater streams and how these influence the inferences made about the occurrence of AMR in communities. The goal of this study was hence to gain insights into the variability in ARG levels measured in the influent and effluent of two wastewater treatment plants in The Netherlands and link these to levels of antibiotic residues measured in the same samples.
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