Pyrosequencing of Antibiotic-Contaminated River Sediments Reveals High Levels of Resistance and Gene Transfer Elements
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2011

The high and sometimes inappropriate use of antibiotics has accelerated the development of antibiotic resistance, creating a major challenge for the sustainable treatment of infections world-wide. Bacterial communities often respond to antibiotic selection pressure by acquiring resistance genes, i.e. mobile genetic elements that can be shared horizontally between species. Environmental microbial communities maintain diverse collections of resistance genes, which can be mobilized into pathogenic bacteria. Recently, exceptional environmental releases of antibiotics have been documented, but the effects on the promotion of resistance genes and the potential for horizontal gene transfer have yet received limited attention. In this study, we have used culture-independent shotgun metagenomics to investigate microbial communities in river sediments exposed to waste water from the production of antibiotics in India. Our analysis identified very high levels of several classes of resistance genes as well as elements for horizontal gene transfer, including integrons, transposons and plasmids. In addition, two abundant previously uncharacterized resistance plasmids were identified. The results suggest that antibiotic contamination plays a role in the promotion of resistance genes and their mobilization from environmental microbes to other species and eventually to human pathogens. The entire life-cycle of antibiotic substances, both before, under and after usage, should therefore be considered to fully evaluate their role in the promotion of resistance.

integrons

soil

metagenomics

water

bacteria

diversity

identification

mediated quinolone resistance

database

aquatic environment

Författare

Erik Kristiansson

Göteborgs universitet

Chalmers, Matematiska vetenskaper, matematisk statistik

J. Fick

Umeå universitet

Anders Janzon

Göteborgs universitet

R. Grabic

Umeå universitet

Carolin Rutgersson

Göteborgs universitet

Birgitta Weijdegård

Göteborgs universitet

H. Soderstrom

Umeå universitet

D. G. Joakim Larsson

Göteborgs universitet

PLoS ONE

1932-6203 (ISSN)

Vol. 6 e17038

Ämneskategorier

Biologiska vetenskaper

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0017038