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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANURE MANAGEMENT FOR REDUCTION OF GAS EMISSIONS, NUTRIENTS, AND PATHOGENS

Location: Agroecosystem Management Research

Title: Spatial mapping of antibiotic resistance

Authors
item Mantz, Amy
item Miller, Daniel
item Spiehs, Mindy
item Woodbury, Bryan
item Durso, Lisa

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 12, 2013
Publication Date: November 4, 2013
Citation: Mantz, A.R., Miller, D.N., Spiehs, M.J., Woodbury, B.L., Durso, L.M. 2013. Spatial Mapping of Antibiotic Resistance [abstract]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting, November 3-6, 2013, Tampa, Florida. CD-ROM. 1104.

Interpretive Summary: There is widespread concern that the practice of feeding cattle growth promoting antimicrobials such as monensin can cause an increase in the number of antibiotic resistance genes in cattle feces, and that these genes can be passed through food and the environment, and be taken up by human pathogens. The first place where the bacteria from the animals encounter the environment is the cattle feedlot pen, where the fecal pats are deposited as they leave the animal. The objective of this study was to examine the prevalence of antibiotic resistance genes in feedlot soils, including determining if there was any difference in prevalence based on location within the pen (i.e. were there “hot zones” where the antibiotic resistance genes collected), and if there was any difference in prevalence based on animal diet. We examined two different antibiotic resistance genes. Although we expected a greater prevalence of AR genes in manure-accumulating areas over time, diet and time had no effect. These results suggest that fecal AR genes do not accumulate in cattle feedlot pens even though the fecal solids are accumulating.

Technical Abstract: A serious concern for modern animal production is the fear that feed antimicrobials, such as monensin, increase the potential for high levels of antibiotic resistant (AR) gene prevalence in the manure, which may subsequently be shared with soil communities and eventually be taken up by human pathogens. The objective of this study was to determine how AR gene prevalence changes in feedlot soils. In each of ten cattle feedlot pens, twelve sample sites were selected based upon a range of electromagnetic induction readings, which correlates with manure content. Surface soil samples were collected at two time-periods from pens where animals were fed either a dry-rolled corn-based or wet-distillers grains with solubles (WDGS) diet, both containing monensin, an antimicrobial feed additive. Soil DNA extracts were screened for two common AR genes using PCR analysis. The blaSHV gene resulted in no positive samples, while the ermB gene was found in 78.3% of samples (n=240). No difference was shown in the presence of ermB in feedlot material from animals fed WDGS versus the control. At the initiation of the study, samples collected from the edge were more likely to test positive for the ermB gene than samples collected from the mound (P = 0.008). After two years without pen cleaning, location had no statistically significant effect on ermB gene prevalence (P = 0.566). Similarly, the prevalence of ermB over time did not change as manure accumulated. A comparison of AR-positive and AR-negative soil parameters indicated that ermB positive soils were more manure-like (wetter, higher N, S, P, and higher volatile solids content). Although we expected a greater prevalence of AR genes in manure-accumulating areas over time, diet and time had no effect. These results suggest that fecal AR genes do not accumulate in cattle feedlot pens even though the fecal solids are accumulating.

Last Modified: 11/1/2014
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