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Selective concentration for ciprofloxacin resistance in Escherichia coli grown in complex aquatic bacterial biofilms

Journal article
Authors Nadine Kraupner
Stefan Ebmeyer
Johan Bengtsson-Palme
J. Fick
Erik Kristiansson
Carl-Fredrik Flach
D. G. Joakim Larsson
Published in Environment International
Volume 116
Pages 255-268
ISSN 0160-4120
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Mathematical Sciences
Centre for antibiotic resistance research, CARe
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Medicine
Pages 255-268
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2018.04...
Keywords Antibiotic resistance, Environmental emission limits, LOEC, NOEC, Aquatic organisms, Escherichia coli, Genes, Surface waters, Antibiotic resistance genes, Environmental emissions, Exposure concentration, No-observed-effect-concentrations, Selective concentration, Antibiotics, biofilm, coliform bacterium, community composition, concentration (composition), enrichment, genotype, microbial activity, phenotype, taxonomy, Bacteria (microorganisms)
Subject categories Basic Medicine

Abstract

There is concern that antibiotics in the environment can select for and enrich bacteria carrying acquired antibiotic resistance genes, thus increasing the potential of those genes to emerge in a clinical context. A critical question for understanding and managing such risks is what levels of antibiotics are needed to select for resistance in complex bacterial communities. Here, we address this question by examining the phenotypic and genotypic profiles of aquatic communities exposed to ciprofloxacin, also evaluating the within-species selection of resistant E. coli in complex communities. The taxonomic composition was significantly altered at ciprofloxacin exposure concentrations down to 1 μg/L. Shotgun metagenomic analysis indicated that mobile quinolone resistance determinants (qnrD, qnrS and qnrB) were enriched as a direct consequence of ciprofloxacin exposure from 1 μg/L or higher. Only at 5–10 μg/L resistant E.coli increased relative to their sensitive counterparts. These resistant E. coli predominantly harbored non-transferrable, chromosomal triple mutations (gyrA S83 L, D87N and parC S80I), which confer high-level resistance. In a controlled experimental setup such as this, we interpret effects on taxonomic composition and enrichment of mobile quinolone resistance genes as relevant indicators of risk. Hence, the lowest observed effect concentration for resistance selection in complex communities by ciprofloxacin was 1 μg/L and the corresponding no observed effect concentration 0.1 μg/L. These findings can be used to define and implement discharge or surface water limits to reduce risks for selection of antibiotic resistance in the environment. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd

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