Escherichia coli and coliform group bacteria resistant to seven antibiotics were investigated in the Tama River, a typical urbanized river in Tokyo, Japan, and at a wastewater treatment plant located on the river. The percentages of antibiotic resistance in the wastewater effluent were, in most cases, higher than the percentages in the river water, which were observed increasing downstream. Since the possible increase in the percentages in the river was associated with treated wastewater discharges, it was concluded that the river, which is contaminated by treated wastewater with many kinds of pollutants, is also contaminated with antibiotic resistant coliform group bacteria and E.coli. The percentages of resistant bacteria in the wastewater treatment plant were mostly observed decreasing during the treatment process. It was also demonstrated that the percentages of resistance in raw sewage are significantly higher than those in the river water and that the wastewater treatment process investigated in this study works against most of resistant bacteria in sewage.

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