Groundwater microbial community composition affected during 30-day exposure
sub mg/L concentrations of the antibiotic, sulfamethoxazole.
Two microbial communities from a sandy aquifer, one acclimated historically to
wastewater with sulfamethoxazole and the other unacclimated were exposed to in situ
240-520 μg/L sulfamethoxazole using filter chambers suspended ambient groundwater for
30 days. The unacclimated microbial community displayed greater changes in mortality
and impairment, sensitivity to sulfamethoxazole, and community composition than the
unacclimated microbial community. The study shows that microbial communities can
be affected by concentrations 2-3 orders of magnitude less than those used in clinical
Suggested citation: Haack, S.K., Metge, D.W., Fogarty, L.R., Meyer, M.T., Barber,
L.B., Harvey, R.W., LeBlanc, D.R., Kolpin, D.W., 2012. Effects on Groundwater
Microbial Communities of an Engineered 30-Day In Situ Exposure to the Antibiotic
Sulfamethoxazole, Environmental Science & Technology, 46, 7478-7486.