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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2016, Vol. 10 Issue (3) : 522-530
Effect of ultraviolet irradiation and chlorination on ampicillin-resistant Escherichia coli and its ampicillin resistance gene
Yuchen PANG1,Jingjing HUANG1,3,Jinying XI1,*(),Hongying HU1,2,*(),Yun ZHU4,5
1. Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control State Key Joint Laboratory, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2. State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Microorganism Application and Risk Control (SMARC), Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen 518055, China
3. China Power Engineering Consulting Group Corporation, Beijing 100120, China
4. Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
5. School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
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Antibiotic resistance is a serious public health risk that may spread via potable and reclaimed water. Effective disinfection is important for inactivation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and disruption of antibiotic resistance genes. Ampicillin is a widely prescribed antibiotic but its effectiveness is increasingly undermined by resistance. In this study, changes in ampicillin resistance for Escherichia coli (E. coli) CGMCC 1.1595 were analyzed after exposure to different doses of ultraviolet (UV) or chlorine, and damage incurred by the plasmid encoding ampicillin resistance gene blaTEM-1 was assessed. We reported a greater stability in ampicillin-resistant E. coli CGMCC 1.1595 after UV irradiation or chlorination when compared with previously published data for other E. coli strains. UV irradiation and chlorination led to a shift in the mortality frequency distributions of ampicillin-resistant E. coli when subsequently exposed to ampicillin. The ampicillin hemi-inhibitory concentration (IC50) without disinfection was 3800 mg·L-1, and an increment was observed after UV irradiation or chlorination. The IC50 of ampicillin-resistant E. coli was 1.5-fold higher at a UV dose of 40 mJ·cm-2, and was 1.4-fold higher when exposed to 2.0 mg·L-1 chlorine. These results indicate that UV irradiation and chlorination can potentially increase the risk of selection for E. coli strains with high ampicillin resistance. There was no evident damage to blaTEM-1 after 1–10 mg Cl2·L-1 chlorination, while a UV dose of 80 mJ·cm-2 yielded a damage ratio for blaTEM-1 of approximately 1.2-log. Therefore, high UV doses are required for effective disruption of antibiotic resistance genes in bacteria.

Keywords antibiotic resistance      Escherichia coli      ampicillin resistance gene      ultraviolet irradiation      chlorination     
Corresponding Authors: Jinying XI,Hongying HU   
Issue Date: 05 April 2016
 Cite this article:   
Yuchen PANG,Jingjing HUANG,Jinying XI, et al. Effect of ultraviolet irradiation and chlorination on ampicillin-resistant Escherichia coli and its ampicillin resistance gene[J]. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng., 2016, 10(3): 522-530.
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Yuchen PANG
Jingjing HUANG
Jinying XI
Hongying HU
primerTa/ °Camplicon length/bpsequence(5′-3′)
Tab.1  PCR primers used for amplification of the ampicillin resistance gene blaTEM-1
Fig.1  Inactivation of ampicillin-resistant E. coli by UV irradiation. The initial concentration of suspended E. coli was 107 CFU·mL-1. Error bars indicate standard deviation for triple replicates from a single sample
Fig.2  Inactivation of ampicillin-resistant E. coli by chlorination. Initial concentrations of E. coli in water samples were 107 CFU·mL-1. Error bars indicate standard deviation for triple replicates from a single sample
Fig.3  Mortality frequency distribution of ampicillin-resistant E. coli exposed to ampicillin after UV irradiation. Error bars indicate standard deviation for triple replicates from a single sample
Fig.4  Mortality frequency distribution of ampicillin-resistant E. coli exposed to ampicillin after chlorination. Error bars indicate standard deviation for triple replicates from a single sample
Fig.5  Shift in hemi-inhibitory concentration (IC50) of ampicillin-resistant E. coli at each dose by UV irradiation or chlorination. Error bars indicate standard deviation for triple replicates from a single sample
Fig.6  Damage to the ampicillin resistance gene blaTEM-1 gene by UV irradiation or chlorination. Error bars indicate standard deviation for triple replicates from a single sample
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