Temporal variation and sharing of antibiotic resistance genes between water and wild fish gut in a peri-urban river

Hong Chen , Zhen-Chao Zhou , Ze-Jun Lin , Xin-Yi Shuai , Ji Zheng , Ling-Xuan Meng , Lin Zhu , Yu-Jie Sun , Wei-Chun Shang


Received September 09, 2020,Revised , Accepted October 13, 2020, Available online October 24, 2020

Volume 33,2021,Pages 12-19

Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) as emergence contaminations have spread widely in the water environment. Wild fish may be recipients and communicators of ARGs in the water environment, however, the distribution and transmission of ARGs in the wild fish and relevant water environment were rarely reported. Here, we have profiled ARGs and bacterial communities in wild freshwater fish and relevant water in a peri-urban river using high-throughput qPCR and 16S rRNA gene sequence. A total of 80 and 220 unique ARG subtypes were identified in fish and water samples. Fish and water both showed significant ARG seasonal variations (P < 0.05). The highest absolute abundance of ARGs in fish and water occurred in summer (1.32 × 109 copies per g, on average) and autumn (9.04 × 106 copies per mL), respectively. In addition, the bipartite network analysis showed that 9 ARGs and 1 mobile genetic element continuously shared in fish and water. Furthermore, bacteria shared in fish and water were found to significantly correlate with shard ARGs. The findings demonstrate that bacteria and ARGs in fish and water could interconnect and ARGs might transfer between fish and water using bacteria as a spreading medium.

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