• Journal Article

Fate of amoxicillin in mixed-culture bioreactors and its effects on microbial growth and resistance to silver ions

Citation

Cunningham, J., & Lin, L-S. (2010). Fate of amoxicillin in mixed-culture bioreactors and its effects on microbial growth and resistance to silver ions. Environmental Science and Technology, 44(5), 1827-1832. DOI: 10.1021/es9022442

Abstract

This research focused on studying the fate of amoxicillin (AMX) in mixed-culture bioreactors and its effects on bacterial growth and bacterial resistance to silver-ion disinfection. The bioreactors were dosed with a range of AMX (10?70 mg L?1 d?1) mimicking a biological treatment unit of a proposed water recovery system for long-term space missions. Aqueous-phase AMX concentrations in the bioreactors were monitored to characterize the kinetics of selected AMX fate processes. Specific growth rates and silver minimum effective concentrations (MECs) of the bacterial cultures were determined by assessing cell viability using flow cytometry. Hydrolysis, sorption, and biodegradation of AMX followed first-order kinetics with rate constants of 0.078, 0.083, and 0.13 d?1, respectively. Specific growth rates of the AMX-dosed cultures were suppressed from 7% to 35% in order of increasing AMX dose as compared to the AMX-free control cultures. The AMX-treated cultures had higher silver MECs than the AMX-free control cultures, indicating an enhanced bacterial resistance to silver ions as a result of the AMX exposure. Biosorption experiments revealed that the AMX-treated cultures exhibited exclusion of silver ions from the cells as a potential mechanism for the enhanced resistance. This paper reports for the first time that low levels of AMX (<100 mg L?1) could induce bacterial cross-resistance to silver ion in an aqueous system mimicking an active biological system for wastewater treatment.<br>