Water Center, The


Date of this Version



Science of the Total Environment 463–464 (2013) 631–638; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.06.016


Livestock manure treatment and storage structures are potential environmental sources of antimicrobials and antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs). In this study, the occurrence of antimicrobials and ARGs was investigated in the water and the sludge compartments of beef cattle storage ponds and swine lagoons. Analysis was focused on two families of antimicrobials (sulfonamide and tetracycline) and the corresponding ARGs (sul1, sul2, tetO, tetQ and tetX). Results showed that the pseudo-partitioning coefficients of tetracyclines were higher than those of sulfonamides, suggesting different distributions of these two classes of antimicrobials between water and sludge. The ARGs tested were detected in nearly all ponds and lagoons, with the highest relative abundance in sul2 at 6.3 × 10−1 copies per 16S rRNA gene. A positive correlation was observed between total sul genes and total sulfonamides in water while the correlation was negative in sludge. No significant correlation was found between total tet genes and total tetracyclines in either water or sludge, but significant correlations were observed for certain individual tet genes. Ammonia concentrations strongly correlated with all ARGs except tetX. This study provided quantitative information on the occurrence of antimicrobials and ARGs in the liquid and solid compartments of typical manure treatment and storage structures.