Explaining the resistomes in a megacity's water supply catchment: Roles of microbial assembly-dominant taxa, niched environments and pathogenic bacteria

Wu, Dong, Zhao, Jue, Su, Yinglong, Yang, Mengjie, Dolfing, Jan, Graham, David W., Yang, Kai and Xie, Bing (2023) Explaining the resistomes in a megacity's water supply catchment: Roles of microbial assembly-dominant taxa, niched environments and pathogenic bacteria. Water Research, 228 (Part A). p. 119359. ISSN 0043-1354

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2022.119359


Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in drinking water sources suggest the possible presence of resistant microorganisms that jeopardize human health. However, explanations for the presence of specific ARGs in situ are largely unknown, especially how their prevalence is affected by local microbial ecology, taxa assembly and community-wide gene transfer. Here, we characterized resistomes and bacterial communities in the Taipu River catchment, which feeds a key drinking water reservoir to a global megacity, Shanghai. Overall, ARG abundances decreased significantly as the river flowed downstream towards the reservoir (P < 0.01), whereas the waterborne bacteria assembled deterministically (|βNRI| > 2.0) as a function of temperature and dissolved oxygen conditions with the assembly-dominant taxa (e.g. Ilumatobacteraceae and Cyanobiaceae) defining local resistomes (P < 0.01, Cohen's D = 4.22). Bacterial hosts of intragenomic ARGs stayed at the same level across the catchment (60 ∼ 70 genome copies per million reads). Among them, the putative resistant pathogens (e.g. Burkholderiaceae) carried mixtures of ARGs that exhibited high transmission probability (transfer counts = 126, P < 0.001), especially with the microbial assembly-dominant taxa. These putative resistant pathogens had densities ranging form 3.0 to 4.0 × 106 cell/L, which was more pronouncedly affected by resistome and microbial assembly structures than environmental factors (SEM, std-coeff β = 0.62 vs. 0.12). This work shows that microbial assembly and resistant pathogens play predominant roles in prevelance and dissemination of resistomes in receiving water, which deserves greater attention in devisng control strategies for reducing in-situ ARGs and resistant strains in a catchment.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This work was financially supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFC1901000), Major Science and Technology Program for Water Pollution Control and Treatment (2017ZX07207003-01), National Natural Science Foundation of China (42107457 and 22276059), Key Laboratory of Environmental Pollution Monitoring and Disease Control, Ministry of Education, Guizhou Medical University (KY2022383). Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Joint Laboratory for Contaminants Exposure and Health, Guangdong University of Technology (GHMJLCEH-12). The authors thank Editor, Reviewers, and Prof. Tong Zhang and his team from the University of Hong Kong for their suggestions and comments to improve the quality of the manuscript.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Antibiotic resistance, Community-wide gene transfer, Metagenome binning, Microbial assembly, Putative resistant pathogen, Water supply catchment
Subjects: C500 Microbiology
C700 Molecular Biology, Biophysics and Biochemistry
H800 Chemical, Process and Energy Engineering
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mechanical and Construction Engineering
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2022 16:36
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2023 03:30
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/51004

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