Microbial Ecology

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 184–193 | Cite as

Distribution of Tetracycline and Streptomycin Resistance Genes and Class 1 Integrons in Enterobacteriaceae Isolated from Dairy and Nondairy Farm Soils

  • Velusamy Srinivasan
  • Hyang-Mi Nam
  • Ashish A. Sawant
  • Susan I. Headrick
  • Lien T. Nguyen
  • Stephen P. Oliver
Original Article


The prevalence of selected tetracycline and streptomycin resistance genes and class 1 integrons in Enterobacteriaceae (n = 80) isolated from dairy farm soil and nondairy soils was evaluated. Among 56 bacteria isolated from dairy farm soils, 36 (64.3%) were resistant to tetracycline, and 17 (30.4%) were resistant to streptomycin. Lower frequencies of tetracycline (9 of 24 or 37.5%) and streptomycin (1 of 24 or 4.2%) resistance were observed in bacteria isolated from nondairy soils. Bacteria (n = 56) isolated from dairy farm soil had a higher frequency of tetracycline resistance genes including tetM (28.6%), tetA (21.4%), tetW (8.9%), tetB (5.4%), tetS (5.4%), tetG (3.6%), and tetO (1.8%). Among 24 bacteria isolated from nondairy soils, four isolates carried tetM, tetO, tetS, and tetW in different combinations; whereas tetA, tetB, and tetG were not detected. Similarly, a higher prevalence of streptomycin resistance genes including strA (12.5%), strB (12.5%), ant(3″) (12.5), aph(6)-1c (12.5%), aph(3″) (10.8%), and addA (5.4%) was detected in bacteria isolated from dairy farm soils than in nondairy soils. None of the nondairy soil isolates carried aadA gene. Other tetracycline (tetC, tetD, tetE, tetK, tetL, tetQ, and tetT) and streptomycin (aph(6)-1c and ant(6)) resistance genes were not detected in both dairy and nondairy soil isolates. A higher distribution of multiple resistance genes was observed in bacteria isolated from dairy farm soil than in nondairy soil. Among 36 tetracycline- and 17 streptomycin-resistant isolates from dairy farm soils, 11 (30.6%) and 9 (52.9%) isolates carried multiple resistance genes encoding resistance to tetracycline and streptomycin, respectively, which was higher than in bacteria isolated from nondairy soils. One strain each of Citrobacter freundii and C. youngae isolated from dairy farm soils carried class 1 integrons with different inserted gene cassettes. Results of this small study suggest that the presence of multiple resistance genes and class 1 integrons in Enterobacteriaceae in dairy farm soil may act as a reservoir of antimicrobial resistance genes and could play a role in the dissemination of these antimicrobial resistance genes to other commensal and indigenous microbial communities in soil. However, additional longer-term studies conducted in more locations are needed to validate this hypothesis.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Velusamy Srinivasan
    • 1
  • Hyang-Mi Nam
    • 1
  • Ashish A. Sawant
    • 1
  • Susan I. Headrick
    • 1
  • Lien T. Nguyen
    • 1
  • Stephen P. Oliver
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Animal Science and the Food Safety Center of ExcellenceThe University of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA

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