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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Bacterial Epidemiology & Antimicrobial Resistance Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #328321

Research Project: Monitoring of Antimicrobial Resistance in Food Animal Production

Location: Bacterial Epidemiology & Antimicrobial Resistance Research

Title: Evaluating antibiotic resistance genes in soils with applied manures

Author
item Cook, Kimberly - Kim
item Netthisinghe, Annesly - Western Kentucky University
item Parekh, Rohan
item Gilfillen, Rebecca - Western Kentucky University

Submitted to: International Association for Food Protection
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/2/2016
Publication Date: 7/31/2016
Citation: Cook, K.L., Netthisinghe, A., Parekh, R.R., Gilfillen, R. 2016. Evaluating antibiotic resistance genes in soils with applied manures. International Association for Food Protection. July 31-August 3, 2016. St. Louis, MO.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Antibiotics are commonly used in livestock production to promote growth and combat disease. Recent studies have shown the potential for spread of antibiotic resistance genes (ARG) to the environment following application of livestock manures. In this study, concentrations of bacteria with ARG in soils with applied poultry litter (PL; 2 years) or from a beef cattle backgrounding operation (BB; 3 year) were determined. Samples were taken (1) following PL application to soils under conventional or no till management and (2) from soils taken from the BB while livestock were on-site and following their removal. Microbial populations with genes conferring resistance to tetracycline (tetQ and tetW), erythromycin (ermB and ermF) or sulfonamides (sulI), were quantified using quantitative, real-time (qPCR) analysis. In soils with applied PL, concentrations of ARG for sulfonamide and tetracycline resistance increased up to 3.0 orders of magnitude (OM; mean concentrations 2.6 to 6.9 x 108 copies g-1) following PL application but were near background by the end of the season. Concentrations of bacteria with AR genes were highly variable across the BB landscape, but in general initial concentrations averaged between 2.5 and 3.3 OM higher in the dirt congregation areas than in grassy areas. The highest concentration of ARG remaining in those soils (2.1 ± 3.2 X 109 copies g-1) and background in grass (4.8 ± 3.5 X 106 copies g-1) were for sulfonamide resistance. These results suggest that the concentration of bacteria with ARG significantly increase in soils where manures are deposited but levels are mitigated by time and landscape management. Future research should determine which AR populations remain in soils and the potential for transmission among microbial populations in the soil.