African Journal of
Microbiology Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Microbiol. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0808
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJMR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 5045

Review

Antibiotics and antibiotic resistant bacteria in wastewater: Impact on environment, soil microbial activity and human health

V. D. Meena*
  • V. D. Meena*
  • Indian Institute of Soil Science, Nabi Bagh, Berasia Road, Bhopal-462 038, India
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M. L. Dotaniya
  • M. L. Dotaniya
  • Indian Institute of Soil Science, Nabi Bagh, Berasia Road, Bhopal-462 038, India
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J. K. Saha
  • J. K. Saha
  • Indian Institute of Soil Science, Nabi Bagh, Berasia Road, Bhopal-462 038, India
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A. K. Patra
  • A. K. Patra
  • Indian Institute of Soil Science, Nabi Bagh, Berasia Road, Bhopal-462 038, India
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  •  Received: 15 October 2014
  •  Accepted: 12 January 2015
  •  Published: 08 April 2015

Abstract

In recent years, pharmaceutical compounds (PhCs) have aggravated increasing anxiety, particularly as no legitimate requirements have been set for discharge into surface water bodies of these ubiquitous, persistent and biologically active substances. Massive quantities of antibiotics are used in human and veterinary medicines in all parts of the globe to treat diseases with bacterial origins. After administration, antibiotics are excreted by the patient and transmitted in due course to the aquatic environment. These are also largely used in animal operations for growth promotion and for disease prophylaxis. These are often partially metabolized after administration and a significant fraction of the antibiotic can be excreted as the parent compound or in conjugated forms that can be converted back to the parent antibiotic. The residual antibiotics from human and animal use can enter the environment via various pathways, including wastewater effluent discharge, runoff from land to which agricultural or human waste has been applied, and leaching which deteriorate the whole ecosystem besides its deleterious impact on human health and aquatic organisms. Antibiotic resistance is a global phenomenon that has severe epidemiological ramifications worldwide and a major peril to public health. This article may give an idea about the sources and fate of commonly used antibiotics detected. More research is needed to quantify the risk of antibiotics in urban wastewater and effluents or surface water so that appropriate action can be taken prior to final discharge into surface water bodies to mitigate the harmful effects on aquatic environment and community health.

Key words: Antibiotics, antibiotics resistance, antibiotics resistance bacteria, health hazards, microbial activity, wastewater.