Combating antibiotic resistance in the human-impacted environment with carbon-based materials: Applications and challenges

Yuhao Fu, Fang Wang, Leilei Xiang, Jean Damascene Harindintwali, Martin Elsner, Wulf Amelung, Stephan Kueppers, Xin Jiang, Marko Virta, Mika Sillanpää, Andreas Schäffer, Yong guan Zhu, James M. Tiedje

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Antibiotic resistance, along with its dynamics in different environments, has attracted increasing attention because of the potential for resistance gene transfer into human pathogens. Therefore, several researchers have focused on combating the increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in diverse environments, using various carbon-based amendments to resolve issues regarding emerging contaminants. However, information on systematic knowledge regarding carbon-based material performance and mechanisms for alleviating ARGs remains lacking. To this end, we summarize carbon-based materials that are used as additives, amendments, adsorbents, and other functional materials in compost, soil, and water environments. The underlying mechanisms of alleviating ARG pollution using carbon-based materials are mainly related to 1) environmental factor improvement, 2) microbial community structure alteration, 3) chemical contaminant-caused co-selective pressure reduction, 4) mobile genetic element (mediating horizontal gene transfer processes) reduction, and 5) direct adsorption and/or damage to extracellular DNA. This review aimed to enrich our understanding of the functional roles of carbon-based materials and provide a basis for management strategy development to mitigate ARG pollution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)699-721
Number of pages23
JournalCritical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2024


  • Antibiotic resistance genes
  • Eakalak Khan and Lena Q. Ma
  • carbon-based material
  • environmental ecosystem
  • impedance process and mechanism
  • one health


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