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environmental research

Mitiku Mihiret Seyoum
Rachel Lichtenberg
Ezra Orlofsky
Nirit Bernstein
Osnat Gillor

Agricultural use of treated wastewater (TWW) is an effective means to reduce freshwater (FW) consumption. However, there is a growing concern regarding the potential dissemination of antibiotic resistance elements by TWW irrigation. We hypothesized that higher levels of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) would be detected in soil and crops irrigated with TWW compared to FW irrigation. To test our prediction, samples of water (FW, secondary TWW, and tertiary TWW), irrigated soils, and crops (tomato) surface wash were collected during two consecutive growing seasons. The ARGs conferring resistance to sulfonamide, fluoroquinolone, penicillin, erythromycin and tetracycline were quantified in the samples, alongside Class 1 integron-integrase and the bacterial 16 S rRNA encoding genes. Contrary to our hypothesis, ARGs in the irrigation water were not propagated to either the irrigated soil, or the tomato. The tomato surface wash featured a variety of ARGs that were undetected in neither the waters nor the irrigated soils. Therefore, we cautiously question the link between irrigation water quality and the soil and produce resistomes.

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Antibiotic resistance in soil and tomato crop irrigated with freshwater and two types of treated wastewater
211

Mitiku Mihiret Seyoum
Rachel Lichtenberg
Ezra Orlofsky
Nirit Bernstein
Osnat Gillor

Antibiotic resistance in soil and tomato crop irrigated with freshwater and two types of treated wastewater .

Agricultural use of treated wastewater (TWW) is an effective means to reduce freshwater (FW) consumption. However, there is a growing concern regarding the potential dissemination of antibiotic resistance elements by TWW irrigation. We hypothesized that higher levels of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) would be detected in soil and crops irrigated with TWW compared to FW irrigation. To test our prediction, samples of water (FW, secondary TWW, and tertiary TWW), irrigated soils, and crops (tomato) surface wash were collected during two consecutive growing seasons. The ARGs conferring resistance to sulfonamide, fluoroquinolone, penicillin, erythromycin and tetracycline were quantified in the samples, alongside Class 1 integron-integrase and the bacterial 16 S rRNA encoding genes. Contrary to our hypothesis, ARGs in the irrigation water were not propagated to either the irrigated soil, or the tomato. The tomato surface wash featured a variety of ARGs that were undetected in neither the waters nor the irrigated soils. Therefore, we cautiously question the link between irrigation water quality and the soil and produce resistomes.

Scientific Publication
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