No evidential correlation between veterinary antibiotic degradation ability and resistance genes in microorganisms during the biodegradation of doxycycline
Abstract Biodegradation of antibiotic residues in the environment by microorganisms may lead to the generation of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), which are of great concern to human health. The aim of this study was to determine whether there is a relationship between the ability to degrade antibiotic doxycycline (DOX) and the development of resistance genes in microorganisms. We isolated and identified ten bacterial strains from a vegetable field that had received long-term manure application as fertilizer and were capable of surviving in a series of DOX concentrations (25, 50, 80, and 100mg/L). Our results showed no evidential correlation between DOX degradation ability and the development of resistance genes among the isolated microorganisms that had high DOX degradation capability ( P > 0.05). This was based on the fact that Escherichia sp. and Candida sp. were the most efficient bacterial strains to degrade DOX (92.52% and 91.63%, respectively), but their tetracycline resistance genes showed a relatively low risk of antibiotic resistance in a 7-day experiment. Moreover, the tet M of the ribosomal protection protein genes carried by these two preponderant bacteria was five-fold higher than that carried by other isolates ( P C t / C 0 of DOX and tet resistance genes of three isolates, except for Escherichia sp. and Candida sp., showed remarkable negative correlations ( P tet G markedly increased during the DOX degradation process. Our results concluded that the biodegradation of antibiotic residues may not necessarily lead to the development of ARGs in the environment. In addition, the two bacteria that we isolated, namely, Escherichia sp. and Candida sp., are potential candidates for the engineering of environmentally friendly bacteria. Highlights Escherichia sp. and Candida sp. were the most efficient strains at degrading DOX. Escherichia sp. and Candida sp. had no significant change of tet resistance genes. Ochrobactrum sp., Burkholderia sp. and Klebsiella sp. had negative correlation between DOX degradation and tet genes. The correlation might be connected with tet M and tet G.
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