Development of antibiotic resistance in environmental bacteria is a direct threat to public health. Therefore, it becomes necessary to understand the fate and transport of antibiotic and its resistant bacteria. This paper presents a mathematical model for spatial and temporal transport of fluoroquinolone and its resistant bacteria in the aquatic environment of the river. The model includes state variables for organic matter, fluoroquinolone, heavy metals, and susceptible and resistant bacteria in the water column and sediment bed. Resistant gene is the factor which makes bacteria resistant to a particular antibiotic and is majorly carried on plasmids. Plasmid-mediated resistance genes are transferable between different bacterial species through conjugation (horizontal resistance transfer). This model includes plasmid dynamics between susceptible and resistant bacteria by considering the rate of horizontal resistance gene transfer among bacteria and the rate of losing resistance (segregation). The model describes processes which comprise of advection, dispersion, degradation, adsorption, diffusion, settling, resuspension, microbial growth, segregation, and transfer of resistance genes. The mathematical equations were solved by using numerical methods (implicit-explicit scheme) with appropriate boundary conditions. The development of the present model was motivated by the fact that the Musi River is heavily impacted by antibiotic pollution which led to the development of antibiotic resistance in its aquatic environment. The model was simulated for hypothetical pollution scenarios to predict the future conditions under various pollution management alternatives. The simulation results of the model for different cases show that the concentration of antibiotic, the concentration of organic matter, segregation rate, and horizontal transfer rate are the governing factors in the variation of population density of resistant bacteria. The treatment of effluents for antibiotics might be costly for the bulk drug manufacturing industries, but the guidelines can be made to reduce the organic matter which can limit the growth rate of microbes and reduce the total microbial population in the river. The reduction in antibiotic concentration can reduce the selection pressure on bacteria and can limit the population of resistant culture and its influence zone in the river stretch; however, complete removal of antibiotics may not result in complete elimination of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
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