Evaluation of On-Site Wastewater Treatment as a Source of Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Groundwater

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Project Number:

WR05R006

Funding Year:

2005

Contract Period:

7/1/2005 - 6/30/2006

Funding Source:

UWS

Investigator(s):
PIs:
  • Katherine McMahon, UW-Madison
Abstract:

The overall goal of the proposed research is to investigate links between a potential source of antibiotics (onsite wastewater treatment systems) and the occurrence of antibiotic resistance genes in groundwater. To do this, a cultivation-independent molecular approach will be used to identify resistance genes in effluent from individual onsite wastewater treatment systems, and in groundwater impacted by these systems. The proposed work would leverage and complement a previously funded University of Wisconsin Groundwater Coordinating Council project (DNR Project #178), which focused on the impacts of unsewered subdivision development on groundwater quantity and quality. Results of this project should be of interest to regulatory agencies and epidemiologists concerned about the presence of antibiotics in our water resources, and the associated potential threat to public health resulting from the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance in microbial populations.

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