Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) have gained global attention due to their public health threat. Extracelluar ARGs (eARGs) can result in the dissemination of antibiotic resistance via free-living ARGs in natural environments, where they promote ARB transmission in drinking water distribution systems. However, eARG pollution in tap water has not been well researched. In this study, concentrations of eARGs and intracellular ARGs (iARGs) in tap water, sampled at Tianjin, China, were investigated for one year. Fourteen eARG types were found at the highest concentration of 1.3 × 105 gene copies (GC)/L. TetC was detected in 66.7% of samples, followed by sul1, sul2, and qnrA with the same detection frequency of 41.7%. Fifteen iARGs (including tetA, tetB, tetM, tetQ, tetX, sul1, sul2, sul3, ermB, blaTEM, and qnrA)were continuously detected in all collected tap water samples with sul1 and sul2 the most abundant. Additionally, both eARG and iARG concentrations in tap water presented a seasonal pattern with most abundant prevalence in summer. The concentration of observed intracellular sulfonamide resistance genes showed a significantly positive correlation with total nitrogen concentrations. This study suggested that eARG and iARG pollution of drinking water systems pose a potential risk to human public health.
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Source: Water Feed