A1 Journal article (refereed)
Occurrence of antibiotics and risk of antibiotic resistance evolution in selected Kenyan wastewaters, surface waters and sediments (2020)

Kairigo, P., Ngumba, E., Sundberg, L.-R., Gachanja, A., & Tuhkanen, T. (2020). Occurrence of antibiotics and risk of antibiotic resistance evolution in selected Kenyan wastewaters, surface waters and sediments. Science of the Total Environment, 720, Article 137580. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137580

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Kairigo, Pius; Ngumba, Elijah; Sundberg, Lotta-Riina; Gachanja, Anthony; Tuhkanen, Tuula

Journal or series: Science of the Total Environment

ISSN: 0048-9697

eISSN: 1879-1026

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 720

Article number: 137580

Publisher: Elsevier

Publication country: Netherlands

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137580

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/69194


Active pharmaceutical ingredients, especially antibiotics, are micropollutants whose continuous flow into hydrological cycles has the potential to mediate antibiotic resistance in the environment and cause toxicity to sensitive organisms. Here, we investigated the levels of selected antibiotics in four wastewater treatment plants and the receiving water bodies. The measured environmental concentrations were compared with the proposed compound-specific predicted no-effect concentration for resistance selection values. The concentration of doxycycline, amoxicillin, sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim, ciprofloxacin and norfloxacin within the influents, effluents, surface waters and river sediments ranged between 0.2 and 49.3 μgL−1, 0.1 to 21.4 μgL−1; ˂ 0.1 and 56.6 μgL−1; and 1.8 and 47.4 μgkg−1, respectively. Compared to the effluent concentrations, the surface waters upstream and downstream one of the four studied treatment plants showed two to five times higher concentrations of ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin and sulfamethoxazole. The risk quotient for bacterial resistance selection in effluent and surface water ranged between ˂0.1 and 53, indicating a medium to high risk of antibiotic resistance developing within the study areas. Therefore, risk mitigation and prevention strategies are a matter of priority in the affected areas.

Keywords: sewage; surface water; water pollution; wastewater load; medicinal substances; antibiotics; concentration (chemical properties); antibiotic resistance

Free keywords: antibiotics; wastewater; antimicrobial resistance; antibiotic resistance evolution; risk assessment

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 14:51