Environmental Antibiotic Resistance Associated with Land Application of Biosolids

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations


The extent to which human activities in general and the application of biosolids to agricultural lands in particular, contribute to the maintenance of environmental reservoirs of antibiotic resistance is poorly understood. Concerns are fueled by a lack of knowledge of the effects of trace antibiotics on ecosystem processes, by questions related to the survival of enteric bacteria in the soil, and by an absence of critical information regarding the movement of resistance genes within and between microbial populations in the environment. This chapter summarizes the known connections between biosolids application and antibiotic resistance, and highlights multiple areas in which additional research is needed. Multiple studies have demonstrated amplification of antibiotic resistance genes during biological wastewater treatment. Although quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) has evolved rapidly over the last decade, a definitive QMRA has not yet been performed for biosolids-borne pathogenic antibiotic-resistant bacteria with regard to human exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAntimicrobial Resistance in Wastewater Treatment Processes
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781119192428
ISBN (Print)9781119192435
StatePublished - May 15 2017


  • Antibiotic resistance genes
  • Antibiotic resistant bacteria
  • Biological wastewater treatment
  • Biosolids application
  • Environmental antibiotic resistance
  • Human health risk
  • Quantitative microbial risk assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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