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Is the Development of Antibiotic Resistance in the Catawba River Basin Linked to Heavy Metal Pollutants?

Mariana de Andrea Pereira, Alexander Dellinger, Roman Sheliakyn, Michael Ross, Prof. Patricia Williams, and Dr. Virginie Maggiotti, Science Department, Gaston College, 201 Highway 321 South, Dallas, NC 28034.

Bacterial resistance to antibiotics poses an ever-increasing threat to human health, with higher numbers of pathogenic bacteria displaying resistance or decreased susceptibility to commonly used antibiotics. Research efforts have identified the role that the environment may play in the spread of Antibiotic Resistance Genes (ARGs). Surface water microbiomes in metropolitan areas may act as a hotspot for environmental ARG propagation due to pollutants that may increase the positive selection pressures of ARGS. Wastewater effluent acts as a vector for many of these pollutants, often containing sub MIC levels of Antibiotics. This study aims to provide valuable data on the levels of ARGs and Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in the Catawba River Basin, a North Carolina River System which spans 225 miles and supplies drinking water to roughly two million residents. A total of 12 collection sites on the river spanning the Charlotte-Metropolitan area were chosen based on ease of public access and proximity to pollution sources. The samples were tested for a range of ions, including ammonium, nitrate, arsenic, chromium, copper, iron, and nickel. All values tested were found to be well within EPA limits, but they will be monitored year-round to assess the impact of farming and industrial pollutants on the quality of the water.




Additional Abstract Information

Presenters: Mariana De Andrea Pereira, Michael Ross, Alexander Dellinger, Roman Sheliakyn

Institution: Gaston College

Type: Poster

Subject: Chemistry

Status: Approved


Time and Location

Session: Poster 4
Date/Time: Tue 11:00am-12:00pm
Session Number: 3558