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Characteristics of antibiotic resistance genes in the soil of a medical waste disposal site: A case study of a disposal site in the hilly area of eastern China

Chinese Journal of Applied & Environmental Biology[ISSN:1006-687X/CN:51-1482/Q]

2019 03
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Characteristics of antibiotic resistance genes in the soil of a medical waste disposal site: A case study of a disposal site in the hilly area of eastern China
CHI Ting ZHAO Zhenqian ZHANG Houhu** & KONG Deyang
Nanjing Institute of Environmental Sciences, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Nanjing, 210042, China
antibiotic resistance gene soil medical waste high-throughput sequencing environmental pollution

Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) are considered globally emergent pollutants in many environmental systems. Microorganisms in soil represent an evolutionary origin of ARGs and have been proposed as a reservoir for ARGs exchanging with clinical pathogens. To test the ARG profiles in the target medical waste dumping area, 28 different soil samples were taken from the area with medical waste and the nearby area. Metagenomes of the microorganisms from the soil sample were extracted for high-throughput sequencing. ARG abundances in these samples were then obtained by searching the metagenomic sequences against the antibiotic resistance genes database and by evaluating ARGs per copy of the 16S rRNA gene at the type level and subtype level. Overall, compared to the nearby samples, the samples from the area with medical waste was significantly enriched with the ARGs encoding resistances to aminoglycoside, chloramphenicol, sulfonamide, and tetracycline (achieved 0.0134 ± 0.0138, 0.00615 ± 0.00747, 0.0188 ± 0.0254, and 0.00504 ± 0.00292 ARGs copy number/16S rRNA gene copy number, respectively). This was especially true for the ARG subtypes of sul1 (sulfonamide), floR (chloramphenicol), catB (chloramphenicol), aph(3’’)-I (aminoglycoside), and tetG (tetracycline). Moreover, the diversity of ARGs in the samples from the polluted area was significantly higher than that of other samples (t-test, P < 0.05). The comparatively high abundance and diversity of ARGs indicated the potential health risk of the medical wastes in the soil in the area.


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Last Update: 2019-06-25