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Minimal selective concentrations of tetracycline in complex aquatic bacterial biofilms

Sara Lundström ; Markus Östman ; Johan Bengtsson-Palme ; Carolin Rutgersson ; Malin Thoudal ; Triranta Sircar ; Hans Blanck ; Karl Martin Eriksson (Institutionen för sjöfart och marin teknik) ; Mats Tysklind ; Carl-Fredrik Flach ; D. G. Joakim Larsson
Science of the Total Environment (0048-9697). Vol. 553 (2016), p. 587-95.
[Artikel, refereegranskad vetenskaplig]

Selection pressure generated by antibiotics released into the environment could enrich for antibiotic resistance genes and antibiotic resistant bacteria, thereby increasing the risk for transmission to humans and animals. Tetracyclines comprise an antibiotic class of great importance to both human and animal health. Accordingly, residues of tetracycline are commonly detected in aquatic environments. To assess if tetracycline pollution in aquatic environments promotes development of resistance, we determined minimal selective concentrations (MSCs) in biofilms of complex aquatic bacterial communities using both phenotypic and genotypic assays. Tetracycline significantly increased the relative abundance of resistant bacteria at 10 μg/L, while specific tet genes (tetA and tetG) increased significantly at the lowest concentration tested (1 μg/L). Taxonomic composition of the biofilm communities was altered with increasing tetracycline concentrations. Metagenomic analysis revealed a concurrent increase of several tet genes and a range of other genes providing resistance to different classes of antibiotics (e.g. cmlA, floR, sul1, and mphA), indicating potential for co-selection. Consequently, MSCs for the tet genes of ≤ 1 μg/L suggests that current exposure levels in e.g. sewage treatment plants could be sufficient to promote resistance. The methodology used here to assess MSCs could be applied in risk assessment of other antibiotics as well.

Nyckelord: Antibiotic contaminants; Antibiotic resistance; Environmental emission limits; Minimal selective concentration; Risk assessment

Denna post skapades 2016-04-21. Senast ändrad 2016-05-02.
CPL Pubid: 234981


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Institutionen för biomedicin, avdelningen för infektionssjukdomar (GU)
Institutionen för biologi och miljövetenskap (GU)
Institutionen för sjöfart och marin teknik


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