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  1. Goh SG, Bayen S, Burger D, Kelly BC, Han P, Babovic V, et al.
    Mar Pollut Bull, 2017 Jan 15;114(1):627-634.
    PMID: 27712861 DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.09.036
    Water quality in Singapore's coastal area was evaluated with microbial indicators, pathogenic vibrios, chemical tracers and physico-chemical parameters. Sampling sites were grouped into two clusters (coastal sites at (i) northern and (ii) southern part of Singapore). The coastal sites located at northern part of Singapore along the Johor Straits exhibited greater pollution. Principal component analysis revealed that sampling sites at Johor Straits have greater loading on carbamazepine, while turbidity poses greater influence on sampling sites at Singapore Straits. Detection of pathogenic vibrios was also more prominent at Johor Straits than the Singapore Straits. This study examined the spatial variations in Singapore's coastal water quality and provided the baseline information for health risk assessment and future pollution management.
  2. Ott A, O'Donnell G, Tran NH, Mohd Haniffah MR, Su JQ, Zealand AM, et al.
    Environ Sci Technol, 2021 06 01;55(11):7466-7478.
    PMID: 34000189 DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.1c00939
    Pinpointing environmental antibiotic resistance (AR) hot spots in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) is hindered by a lack of available and comparable AR monitoring data relevant to such settings. Addressing this problem, we performed a comprehensive spatial and seasonal assessment of water quality and AR conditions in a Malaysian river catchment to identify potential "simple" surrogates that mirror elevated AR. We screened for resistant coliforms, 22 antibiotics, 287 AR genes and integrons, and routine water quality parameters, covering absolute concentrations and mass loadings. To understand relationships, we introduced standardized "effect sizes" (Cohen's D) for AR monitoring to improve comparability of field studies. Overall, water quality generally declined and environmental AR levels increased as one moved down the catchment without major seasonal variations, except total antibiotic concentrations that were higher in the dry season (Cohen's D > 0.8, P < 0.05). Among simple surrogates, dissolved oxygen (DO) most strongly correlated (inversely) with total AR gene concentrations (Spearman's ρ 0.81, P < 0.05). We suspect this results from minimally treated sewage inputs, which also contain AR bacteria and genes, depleting DO in the most impacted reaches. Thus, although DO is not a measure of AR, lower DO levels reflect wastewater inputs, flagging possible AR hot spots. DO measurement is inexpensive, already monitored in many catchments, and exists in many numerical water quality models (e.g., oxygen sag curves). Therefore, we propose combining DO data and prospective modeling to guide local interventions, especially in LMIC rivers with limited data.
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