Influence of trace erythromycin and eryhthromycin-H2O on carbon and nutrients removal and on resistance selection in sequencing batch reactors (SBRs). Academic Article uri icon


  • Three sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) were operated in parallel to study the effects of trace erythromycin (ERY) and ERY-H2O on the treatment of a synthetic wastewater. Through monitoring (1) daily effluents and (2) concentrations of nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) in certain batch cycles of the three reactors operated from transient to steady states, the removal of carbon, N, and P was affected negligibly by ERY (100 microg/L) or ERY-H2O (50 microg/L) when compared with the control reactor. However, through analyzing microbial communities of the three steady state SBRs on high-density microarrays (Phylo-Chip), ERY, and ERY-H2O had pronounced effects on the community composition of bacteria related to N and P removal, leading to diversity loss and abundance change. The above observations indicated that resistant bacteria were selected upon exposure to ERY or ERY-H2O. Shortterm batch experiments further proved the resistance and demonstrated that ammonium oxidation (56-95%) was inhibited more significantly than nitrite oxidation (18-61%) in the presence of ERY (100, 400, or 800 microg/L). Therefore, the presence of ERY or ERY-H2O (at microg/L levels) shifted the microbial community and selected resistant bacteria, which may account for the negligible influence of the antibiotic ERY or its derivative ERY-H2O (at microg/L levels) on carbon, N, and P removal in the SBRs.

published proceedings

  • Appl Microbiol Biotechnol

author list (cited authors)

  • Fan, C., Lee, P., Ng, W. J., Alvarez-Cohen, L., Brodie, E. L., Andersen, G. L., & He, J.

citation count

  • 21

complete list of authors

  • Fan, Caian||Lee, Patrick KH||Ng, Wun Jern||Alvarez-Cohen, Lisa||Brodie, Eoin L||Andersen, Gary L||He, Jianzhong

publication date

  • November 2009