Exposure to mutagenic disinfection byproducts leads to increase of antibiotic resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Environ Sci Technol. 2014 Jul 15 ;48(14):8188-95. Epub 2014 Jun 26. PMID: 24933271
Bacterial antibiotic resistance (BAR) in drinking water has become a global issue because of its risks on the public health. Usually, the antibiotic concentrations in drinking water are too low to select antibiotic resistant strains effectively, suggesting that factors other than antibiotics would contribute to the emergence of BAR. In the current study, the impacts of mutagenic disinfection byproducts (DBPs) on BAR were explored, using four typical DBPs: dibromoacetic acid, dichloroacetonitrile, potassium bromate, and 3-chloro-4-(dichloromethyl)-5-hydroxy-2(5H)-furanone (MX). After exposure to DBPs, resistances to 10 individual antibiotics and multiple antibiotics were both raised by various levels, norfloxacin and polymycin B resistances were enhanced even greater than 10-fold compared with control. MX increased the resistance most observably in the selected DBPs, which was consistent with its mutagenic activity. The resistant mutants showed hereditary stability during 5-day culturing. The increase of BAR was caused by the mutagenic activities of DBPs, since mutation frequency declined by adding ROS scavenger. Mutagenesis was further confirmed by sequencing of the related genes. Our study indicated that mutagenic activities of the selected DBPs could induce antibiotic resistance, even multidrug resistance, which may partially explain the lack of agreement between BAR and antibiotic levels in drinking water.