Strathprints Home | Open Access | Browse | Search | User area | Copyright | Help | Library Home | SUPrimo

Evidence of increasing antibiotic resistance gene abundances in archived soils since 1940

Knapp, Charles W. and Dolfing, Jan and Ehlert, Phillip A.I. and Graham, David W. (2010) Evidence of increasing antibiotic resistance gene abundances in archived soils since 1940. Environmental Science and Technology, 44 (2). pp. 580-587. ISSN 0013-936X

Full text not available in this repository. (Request a copy from the Strathclyde author)

Abstract

Mass production and use of antibiotics and antimicrobials in medicine and agriculture have existed for over 60 years, and has substantially benefited public health and agricultural productivity throughout the world. However, there is growing evidence that resistance to antibiotics (AR) is increasing both in benign and pathogenic bacteria, posing an emerging threat to public and environmental health in the future. Although evidence has existed for years from clinical data of increasing AR, almost no quantitative environmental data exist that span increased industrial antibiotic production in the 1950s to the present; i.e., data that might delineate trends in AR potentially valuable for epidemiological studies. To address this critical knowledge gap, we speculated that AR levels might be apparent in historic soil archives as evidenced by antibiotic resistance gene (ARG) abundances over time. Accordingly, DNA was extracted from five long-term soil-series from different locations in The Netherlands that spanned 1940 to 2008, and 16S rRNA gene and 18 ARG abundances from different major antibiotic classes were quantified. Results show that ARG from all classes of antibiotics tested have significantly increased since 1940, but especially within the tetracyclines, with some individual ARG being >15 times more abundant now than in the 1970s. This is noteworthy because waste management procedures have broadly improved and stricter rules on nontherapeutic antibiotic use in agriculture are being promulgated. Although these data are local to The Netherlands, they suggest basal environmental levels of ARG still might be increasing, which has implications to similar locations around the world.

Item type: Article
ID code: 13594
Keywords: antibiotic resistance, antibiotics, gene abundances, soils, pathogenic bacteria, waste management, Science (General), Microbiology, Environmental Chemistry, Chemistry(all)
Subjects: Science > Science (General)
Science > Microbiology
Department: Faculty of Engineering > Civil and Environmental Engineering
Related URLs:
    Depositing user: Dr Charles W Knapp
    Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2010 10:36
    Last modified: 04 Apr 2014 05:04
    URI: http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/id/eprint/13594

    Actions (login required)

    View Item