Persistence of Resistance to Erythromycin and Tetracycline in Swine Manure During Simulated Composting and Lagoon Treatments
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- Wang, L., Oda, Y., Grewal, S. et al. Microb Ecol (2012) 63: 32. doi:10.1007/s00248-011-9921-9
The use of antimicrobials in food animal production leads to the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and animal manure constitutes the largest reservoir of such AMR. In previous studies, composted swine manure was found to contain substantially lower abundance of AMR genes that encode resistance to tetracyclines (tet genes) and macrolide–lincosamide–streptogramin B (MLSB) superfamily (erm genes), than manures that were treated by lagoons or biofilters. In this study, temporal changes in AMR carried by both cultivated and uncultivated bacteria present in swine manure during simulated composting and lagoon storage were analyzed. Treatments were designed to simulate the environmental conditions of composting (55°C with modest aeration) and lagoon storage (ambient temperature with modest aeration). As determined by selective plate counting, over a 48-day period, cultivated aerobic heterotrophic erythromycin-resistant bacteria and tetracycline-resistant bacteria decreased by more than 4 and 7 logs, respectively, in the simulated composting treatment while only 1 to 2 logs for both resistant bacterial groups in the simulated lagoon treatment. Among six classes each of erm and tet genes quantified by class-specific real-time PCR assays, the abundance of erm(A), erm(C), erm(F), erm(T), erm(X), tet(G), tet(M), tet(O), tet(T), and tet(W) declined marginally during the first 17 days, but dramatically thereafter within 31 days of the composting treatment. No appreciable reduction of any of the erm or tet genes analyzed was observed during the simulated lagoon treatment. Correlation analysis showed that most of the AMR gene classes had similar persistence pattern over the course of the treatments, though not all AMR genes were destructed at the same rate during the treatments.