Kennes-Veiga, David M., et al. “Sulfamethoxazole Enhances Specific Enzymatic Activities under Aerobic Heterotrophic Conditions: A Metaproteomic Approach.” Environmental Science & Technology (2022). https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.2c05001
The growing concern about antibiotic-resistant microorganisms has focused on the sludge from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) as a potential hotspot for their development and spread. To this end, it seems relevant to analyze the changes on the microbiota as a consequence of the antibiotics that wastewater may contain. This study aims at determining whether the presence of sulfamethoxazole (SMX), even in relatively low concentrations, modifies the microbial activities and the enzymatic expression of an activated sludge under aerobic heterotrophic conditions. For that purpose, we applied a metaproteomic approach in combination with genomic and transformation product analyses. SMX was biotransformed, and the metabolite 2,4(1H,3H)-pteridinedione-SMX (PtO-SMX) from the pterin-conjugation pathway was detected at all concentrations tested. Metaproteomics showed that SMX at 50–2000 μg/L slightly affected the microbial community structure, which was confirmed by DNA metabarcoding. Interestingly, an enhanced activity of the genus Corynebacterium and specifically of five enzymes involved in its central carbon metabolism was found at increased SMX concentrations. Our results suggest a role of Corynebacterium genus on SMX risks mitigation in our bioreactors.