Antibiotics impact on aquatic biogeochemical and microbial processes in India

Background & Goal

The extensive use of antibiotics in human and veterinary, agriculture and aquaculture purpose as well as their disposal from medical centres and discharge of wastewaters also results in environmental contamination. These compounds are not completely degraded in the environment and as a result a number of antibiotics are being reported to find place in aquatic systems. Because of continuous discharge of antibiotics higher concentrations of their residues may be expected in surface water and groundwater too. Hence, extensive research activities are needed to investigate the interaction of antibiotics in aquatic environments and their stimulated processes.

India is the world’s third largest manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, with exports to over 65 countries. In this project, we examine several aquatic systems, but especially the river Kaveri, an important river system with permanent water flow which stretches from the Western Ghats and confluences into Bay of Bengal. Anthropogenic impact will be from almost none (in the mountains) to 100% ranging from industrial, agriculture and connection to cities along the river stretch. We combine high-resolution field measurements of partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) and methane (CH4) with investigations of anthropogenic contaminants (e.g. antibiotics) and other water quality parameters. Higher antibiotics in the water may lead to changing C dynamics leading to a different pCO2 in the water. Due to the very close living of the Indian population with aquatic systems it is thus urgently vital to deepen the knowledge of AB contamination of Indians inland waters and also its impact on humans.



(Abt. 1) Ökohydrologie und Biogeochemie
Dimensionen der Komplexität aquatischer Systeme
Projektteam am IGB

The Indo-German Centre for Sustainability (IGCS), which is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD, BMBF)


Team (extern)

PostDocs: Jayakumar Renganathan, Dharanivasan (IIT Madras)

Senior Scientists: Sundaram Sehsadri (Indigenous and Frontier Technology Research Centre)

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