Authors: Naoto Urano, Masahiko Okai, Yusuke Tashiro, Azusa Takeuchi, Rintaro Endo, Masami Ishida, Masachika Takashio
We are confronting a new threat in the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria followed by epidemic spread in aquatic environments in metropolitan areas because damage from river floods is increasing remarkably in Japan due to global extreme weather. The sewer penetration rate is about 100% in Tokyo and reclaimed water from sewage treatment plants accounts for over 50% of all water in both the down- and mid-stream areas of local rivers. The water quality of these rivers, which contain microflora, seems to be seriously affected by reclaimed water. In this study, we collected water samples on July 17, 2018 and examined the behavior of antibiotic-resistant fecal coliforms in the stream of a sewage treatment plant in Tokyo. Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing fecal coliforms with encoding genes were found; the CTX-M-1, CTX-M-9, TEM, and SHV groups were found to have survived in the final effluent to the river after sterilization with sodium hypochlorite.
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