Author ORCID Identifier
Environmental Science & Technology
This work investigated degradation (measured by qPCR) and biological deactivation (measured by culture-based natural transformation) of extra- and intracellular antibiotic resistance genes (eARGs and iARGs) by free available chlorine (FAC), NH2Cl, O3, ClO2, and UV light (254 nm), and of eARGs by •OH, using a chromosomal ARG (blt) of multidrug-resistant Bacillus subtilis 1A189. Rate constants for degradation of four 266–1017 bp amplicons adjacent to or encompassing the acfA mutation enabling blt overexpression increased in proportion to #AT+GC bps/amplicon, or in proportion to #5′-GG-3′ or 5′-TT-3′ doublets/amplicon, with respective values ranging from 0.59 to 2.3 (×1011 M–1 s–1) for •OH, 1.8–6.9 (×104 M–1 s–1) for O3, 3.9–9.2 (×103 M–1 s–1) for FAC, 0.35–1.2(×101 M–1 s–1) for ClO2, and 2.0–8.8 (×10–2 cm2/mJ) for UV at pH 7, and from 1.7–4.4 M–1 s–1 for NH2Cl at pH 8. For FAC, NH2Cl, O3, ClO2, and UV, ARG deactivation paralleled degradation of amplicons approximating a ∼800–1000 bp acfA-flanking sequence required for natural transformation in B. subtilis, whereas deactivation outpaced degradation for •OH. At practical disinfectant exposures, eARGs and iARGs were ≥90% degraded/deactivated by FAC, O3, and UV, but recalcitrant to NH2Cl and ClO2. iARG degradation/deactivation always lagged cell inactivation. These findings provide a quantitative framework for evaluating ARG fate during disinfection/oxidation, and support using qPCR as a proxy for tracking ARG deactivation under carefully selected circumstances.
Civil and Environmental Engineering
He, H.; Zhou, P.; Shimabuku, K. K.; Fang, X.; Li, S.; Lee, Y.; Dodd, M. C. Degradation and Deactivation of Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance Genes during Exposure to Free Chlorine, Monochloramine, Chlorine Dioxide, Ozone, Ultraviolet Light, and Hydroxyl Radical. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2019, 53 (4), 2013–2026. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.8b04393.