Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria in an Urban Freshwater Ecosystem in Central Texas
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Antibiotic resistance is a growing concern for the human population due to an increasing occurrence of antibiotic resistance genes in aquatic ecosystems and the risk of pathogenic microorganisms acquiring those resistance genes (ARGs). It is desired to more closely examine the relationship between antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and antibiotic residues in an urban freshwater environment. Thus, the main objective of this study is to investigate the presence of antibiotic resistance in wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent leading into the Brazos River. The study additionally explores possible mechanisms of resistance gene emergence among different antibiotics using classical techniques such as replica plating, Luria-Delbrück’s Fluctuation Test, Newcombe Test, and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. According to the Luria- Delbrück Fluctuation Test and the Newcombe Test, different antibiotics appear to be associated with different tendencies of resistance emergence – raising questions about the roles of random mutation and induction. This study provides a baseline understanding of the urban freshwater ecosystem status in central Texas and quantitatively examines the degree of resistance emergences.