Microplastics in sewage, ‘confinement’ for drug-resistant bacteria: study

Microplastics in sewage, ‘confinement’ for drug-resistant bacteria: study

New York: Microplastic particles can become a “hub” for the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and pathogens once they enter household sewers and sewage treatment plants.
According to scientists, including those from the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in the United States, these plastic particles less than five millimeters long, called microplastics, have the ability to form a thin layer or biofilm on their surface. Have what is at their level. Allows bacteria and antibiotic waste to attach.
The study, published in the journal Harmful Materials, found that some strains of bacteria living on Mexican plastic biofilm increased antibiotic resistance 30-fold, adding to sludge units in municipal wastewater treatment plants. Create inside
“Numerous recent studies have focused on the negative effects of millions of tons of microplastic waste on our freshwater and marine environments each year, but so far microplastics have played a major role in our urban and urban wastewater treatment. The extent has been unknown, “said study co-author Menjian Li from NJIT.
“These wastewater treatment plants can be hotspots where various chemicals, antibiotic-resistant germs and pathogens accumulate and what our study shows is that microplastics pose a threat to aquatic biota and human health.” Maybe, if they ignore the water purification process, “Lee added.
In the study, scientists looked at batches of raw samples from three domestic wastewater plants in New Jersey, USA, and inoculated samples in a lab with two large-scale commercial microplastics, polyethylene and polystyrene.
They then identified the types of bacteria that grow on microplastics and are aware of the genetic mutations of the bacteria along the way.
The researchers found that three genes in particular – Sullivan One, Civil 2 and Int I1 – which are known to help resist common antibiotics, sulfonamides, were used in the lab after the use of sand biofilm on microplastic biofilms. Control tests have found 30 times more. Just three days
When the scientists added the antibiotic, sulfamethoxazole to the samples, they found that it increased the antibiotic resistance gene by a further 4.5 times.
Another co-author of the NJIT study, Ding Angok Pham, said. “Previously, we thought that the presence of antibiotics would be necessary to increase the antibiotic resistance gene in bacteria associated with microplastics, but it seems that microplastics can allow this to increase naturally. There are resistance genes themselves. ”
“However, the presence of antibiotics has a significant impact.”
Of the eight different bacterial species found, the scientists found two emerging human pathogens that are commonly associated with respiratory infections.
“We can think of microplastics as small beads, but they provide a wide surface area for microbes to live,” Lee said.
When microplastics enter a wastewater treatment plant and mix with sludge, bacteria can attach to the surface and hide glue-like substances, according to researchers.
“When other bacteria attach to the surface and grow, they can also exchange DNA with each other. In this way, antibiotic resistance genes are spreading in society,” Lee explained.
Scientists say more such studies are needed to better understand the extent to which microplastics carrying such pathogens undergo water purification.

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