Due to their mass production and intense consumption in human medicine, veterinary, and aquaculture, antibiotics have been widely detected in different ecosystems, leading to a growing worldwide concern. These and their byproducts are being continuously discarded in natural ecosystems via excretion of human and animal urine and feces, also domestic and hospital effluents. Residues of these drugs can persist in natural environments through bioaccumulation due to their difficult biodegradation. Also, they have a gradual deposition in sediments, aquatic surfaces, and groundwater. Studies have shown the presence of these drugs in aquatic environments, which can trigger severe changes in the composition and structure of the bacterial community, such as the ability to develop and propagate genes resistant to these pollutants. In this context, this review aims to address the effects of the antibiotics on microorganisms present in impacted aquatic environments.
Part of the book: Emerging Contaminants