Environnement, Risques & Santé


Contamination des milieux aquatiques par les résidus de médicaments : exposition, risques écotoxicologiques, antibiorésistance et leviers d’actions Volume 22, numéro 5, Septembre-Octobre 2023


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1 Groupe de recherche, animation technique et information sur l’eau (Graie) Campus LyonTech La Doua CS 52132 – 69603 Villeurbanne Cedex France
2 Université Clermont-Auvergne, CNRS, Laboratoire Micro-organismes : génome et environnement 49, bd François Mitterrand63001 Clermont-Ferrand France
3 INRAE UR RiverLy 5, rue de la Doua 69625 Villeurbanne France
4 Université de Limoges, Inserm, CHU Limoges, RESINFIT, U1092 2, rue du Docteur MarclandF-87000 Limoges France
5 UMR CNRS 6249, Laboratoire chrono-environnement, Université de Franche-Comté 19, rue Paré 25000 Besançon France
6 UMR CNRS 7285 IC2MP, Université de Poitiers 7, rue Marcel Doré TSA 41105 86073 Poitiers cedex 9 France
7 Institut Agro Dijon, INRAE, Université de Bourgogne, Agroécologie 26, bd Docteur Petitjean21065 Dijon Cedex France
* Tirés à part : V. Lecomte

This article is the result of work presented at the PharmaAQUA seminar (9–11 March, Annecy, France). It contributes towards knowledge on the pollution of inland aquatic ecosystems by pharmaceutical residues (PR) and antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB).

Pollution of these ecosystems by PR occurs around the world. The main sources are effluents from wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) and the spreading of organic waste products of animal origin (manure and slurry). French rivers are no exception and contain PR in concentrations ranging from nanograms per litre to micrograms per litre, depending on the molecule.

This chronic contamination generates risks and ecotoxicological effects to which microbial communities are potentially vulnerable. Their alteration can indirectly affect the biodiversity and functioning of ecosystems. The Pollution Induced Community Tolerance (PICT) approach is a promising tool for diagnosing chemical pollution by PR.

Aquatic environments are polluted by antibiotic residues and other chemicals that promote the development of a reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes (ARG). Bacterial biofilms and sediments are trapping areas for ARB and ARG. rRecent studies have shown ARB and ARG accumulate downstream of WWTP. Urban and hospital effluents have specific signatures for ARG.

The improvement of wastewater treatment by WWTP, the reduction of discharges at source (through information, greater awareness, and changes in practices), and better control of pharmaceutical production are all levers that are being studied to control this pollution. They require multiple and coordinated efforts from all actors involved in this issue, at the intersection of human health, animal health, and water.