The environmental reservoirs of sulfonamide (SA) resistome are still poorly understood. We investigated the potential sources and reservoir of SA resistance (SR) in Larut River and Sangga Besar River by measuring the SA residues, sulfamethoxazole resistant (SMXr) in bacteria and their resistance genes (SRGs). The SA residues measured ranged from lower than quantification limits (LOQ) to 33.13 ng L-1 with sulfadiazine (SDZ), sulfadimethoxine (SDM) and SMX as most detected. Hospital wastewater effluent was detected with the highest SA residues concentration followed by the slaughterhouse and zoo wastewater effluents. The wastewater effluents also harbored the highest abundance of SMXr-bacteria (107 CFU mL-1) and SRGs (10-1/16S copies mL-1). Pearson correlation showed only positive correlation between the PO4 and SMXr-bacteria. In conclusion, wastewater effluents from the zoo, hospital and slaughterhouse could serve as important sources of SA residues that could lead to the consequent emergence of SMXr-bacteria and SRGs in the river.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.