Inactivation kinetics of antibiotic resistant Escherichia coli in secondary wastewater effluents by peracetic and performic acids


Campo, Neus; De Flora, Cecilia; Maffettone, Roberta; Manoli, Kyriakos; Sarathy, Siva; Santoro, Domenico; Gonzalez-Olmos, Rafael; Auset, Maria


While disinfection processes have been central for public health protection, new concerns have been raised with respect to their ability to control the spread of antibiotic resistance in the environment. In this study, we report the inactivation kinetics by peracetic and performic acids of a typical indicator, Escherichia coli and its corresponding antibiotic-resistant subpopulation, in secondary settled wastewater effluent. Performic acid always showed greater inactivation efficiency than peracetic acid, whether or not the indicator was Ampicillin-resistant. Observed inactivation data, fitted with an exposure-based inactivation model, predicted very well the inactivation profile of both total and ampicillin resistant Escherichia coli. Notably, the antibiotic resistance percentage decreased significantly in treated wastewater compared to untreated wastewater thus making the peracid-based disinfection processes beneficial in controlling antibiotic resistance in secondary settled wastewater. Moreover, the minimum inhibitory concentration values remained unchanged. Finally, antibiotic-resistant-specific inactivation kinetics were used to predict the disinfection efficiency in continuous-flow reactors under ideal and non-ideal hydraulics thus providing useful information for future design and operation of disinfection process in antibiotic-resistance controlling mode.








Water Research, 1 February 2020, v.169, 115227

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