This study aimed to evaluate the feasibility of hyperthermophilic anaerobic digestion at 70 °C in the pretreatment of spiramycin fermentation residue. By feeding municipal excess sludge under a solid retention time of 5 days, the hyperthermophilic digester was successfully started up within 3 days from mesophilic digestion by a one-step temperature increase from 35 to 70 °C. MiSeq sequencing showed the fast establishment of thermophilic fermenting bacterial communities in 3 days immediately after the temperature increase, with increases in abundance of Coprothermobacter, Spirochaetaceae_uncultured and Fervidobacterium from <0.001%, 1.06% and <0.001% to 33.77%, 11.65% and 3.42%, respectively. The feasibility of hyperthermophilic digestion for spiramycin residue was evaluated in batch experiments for 7 days. Hyperthermophilic digestion considerably reduced antibiotic concentrations, with removal efficiencies of 55.3% and 99.0% for the spiramycin residue alone and its mixture with hyperthermophilic sludge, respectively. At the same time, the abundances of four macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin resistance genes were also reduced within 7 days, due to the decrease of their corresponding hosts. These results suggest that hyperthermophilic digestion could easily be started up from mesophilic digestion and might be a suitable pretreatment approach for spiramycin residue.

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