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Table 9 Summary of results on wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) ability to reduce antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB), antibiotic resistance genes (ARG), mobile genetic elements (MGE) in studies with definitively/probably high validity level (n = 118/324). Numbers reported in each column are independent of each other

From: How effective are strategies to control the dissemination of antibiotic resistance in the environment? A systematic review

  Concentration or absolute abundance Proportion or relative abundance
ARB (measured in 54 studies)
Decrease of all ATBR markersa n = 25 n = 11
Decrease of some ATBR markers n = 2 n = 19
Increase of all ATBR markers or no variationb n = 1 n = 10
Not studied or not reported n = 26 n = 14
ARG (measured in 61 studies)
Decrease of all ATBR markersa n = 33 n = 6
Decrease of some ATBR markers n = 14 n = 18
Increase of all ATBR markers or no variationb n = 3 n = 3
Not studied or not reported n = 11 n = 34
MGE (measured in 43 studies)
Decrease of all ATBR markersa n = 28 n = 9
Decrease of some ATBR markers n = 3 n = 2
Increase of all ATBR markers or no variationb n = 4 n = 3
Not studied or not reported n = 8 n = 29
  1. acorresponds to wished result, i.e., decrease of ATBR after WWTP
  2. bcorresponds to unwished outputs, i.e., increase and/or no variation of ATBR after WWTP