Exploring the abundance and influencing factors of antimicrobial resistance genes in manure plasmidome from swine farms

Anyun Zhang , Zunfang Tu , Junrui Shui , Jinxin Liu , Hongmei Tuo , Haoyu Zhang , Cong Lin , Jingyi Feng , Yuxuan Feng , Wen Su


Received June 16, 2021,Revised , Accepted November 26, 2021, Available online February 23, 2022

Volume 35,2023,Pages 462-471

Plasmids play a critical role in the dissemination of antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs), however, a systematical understanding of ARGs originated from plasmids in swine production is currently lacking. Herein, quantitative polymerase chain reaction was applied to determine the prevalence of ten ARGs and the class1 integron gene intI1 of plasmid source in swine manure from 44 farms in Sichuan, Hubei and Hebei provinces, China. All assayed ARGs were observed in plasmid DNA samples, and the average absolute abundance of aac(6’)-Ib-cr, blaNDM, blaCTX-M, optrA, ermB, floR, mcr-1, qnrS, tetM, sul1 and intI1 were 7.09, 2.90, 4.67, 6.62, 7.55, 7.14, 4.08, 4.85, 7.16, 7.11 and 8.07 of 10 log copies/gram, respectively. IntI1 showed a high correlation (r > 0.8, P < 0.01) with the abundance of aac(6’)-Ib-cr and sul1 in swine manure. Moreover, the farm scale (i.e., herd population) and geographical location were not found to be critical factors influencing the absolute abundance of ARGs of plasmid DNA in swine farms. However, the concentrations of florfenicol, Cu, Zn, Fe, total phosphorus (TP) and total potassium (TK) demonstrated a significant correlation with the abundance of several ARGs. Particularly, Cu and Zn had high correlations with optrA and blaCTX-M, respectively. Our results demonstrated that antibiotics, heavy metals and environmental nutrients are likely jointly contributing to the long-term persistence of ARGs in swine production. This study provides insights into the abundance and influencing factors of ARGs from swine manure, which is of significance for assessing and reducing the public health risks in livestock production.

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