Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

VCU Rice Rivers Center Research Symposium

Date of Submission

June 2017


Antibiotics have been used to treat bacterial infections worldwide since their discovery in the early 20th century and are vital to human health. Unfortunately, the heavy use of antibiotics has led to the increased natural selection of antibiotic resistant bacteria. In urban rivers, the spread of resistance resistance is through through the direct acquisition of resistance genes by either either either cell-to -cell contact or DNA uptake via a process called horizontal gene transfer transfer(HGT) 2.HGT, resistance genes, and resistant bacteria are in greater abundance in wastewater systems, and are released into the environment in wastewater plant effluent2,3. One problematic method of wastewater treatment, used in over over 750 cities in the US, is the Combined Sewer System System(CSS) 4.This collects the water from both rainfall and sewage for treatment at a single facility.Occasionally when it rains, the treatment plant exceeds capacity and the combined untreated effluent enters the river in what is called a CSO (Combined Sewer Overflow) event. Some studies have found that antibiotic resistance genes can be more abundant in river water water affected by wastewater treatment effluent and correlated with CSO events events 7.


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VCU Rice Rivers Center Research Symposium