The capability of the processes, in terms of the elimination of the antibiotics present in urban wastewater, varied among the two light sources used: both antibiotics were fully removed during UV-C/Η2Ο2, whereas only ciprofloxacin was removed during the sunlight/H2O2. The photo-transformation of the antibiotics led to the identification of 21 and 18 TPs of ciprofloxacin and sulfamethoxazole, respectively, while all of them retained their core moiety, responsible for the antibacterial activity. All the UV-C/H2O2-treated samples were found to be toxic, whereas the luminescence of V. fischeri was not inhibited when tested in the sunlight/H2O2-treated samples. During both processes, E. coli, P. aeruginosa and the colonies of these species still viable in the presence of antibiotics, were successfully inactivated to values below the detection limit. However, sunlight/H2O2 has not achieved complete disinfection, as regrowth of E. coli and P. aeruginosa colonies was observed after 48 h of storage of the treated effluent. Finally, none of the technologies tested was able to completely remove the target ARGs, confirming their inability to prevent the spread of resistance determinants to the environment.
- Advanced wastewater treatment
- Antimicrobial resistance