Published Date: 05/06/2019
Significance of antibiotic resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistant genes in drinking water
There is increasing awareness about the presence of antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and antibiotic resistant genes (ARG) in the environment and the risks posed to drinking water. Some studies have demonstrated that sources of drinking water are vulnerable to contamination by ARB and ARG. Water treatment has been found to form an effective barrier for the elimination of ARB, but ARG were eliminated less efficiently. Evidence also exists for the occurrence of both ARB and ARG in distribution systems. However, most of the information comes from studies outside the UK where patterns of antibiotic usage may not be the same as in the UK. On the basis of the information available, there is no evidence to indicate that consumption of drinking water would represent a significant route for the transmission of ARB or ARG.