Seasonal dynamics of tetracycline resistance gene flux in the Sumas River agricultural watershed of British Columbia, Canada

Patricia L. Keen, Charles W. Knapp, Kenneth J. Hall, David W. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Environmental transport of contaminants that can influence the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria is an important concern in the management of ecological and human health risks. Agricultural regions are locales where
practices linked to food crop and livestock production can introduce contaminants that could alter the selective pressures for the development of antibiotic resistance in microbiota. This is important in regions where the use of animal manure or municipal biosolids as waste and/or fertilizer could influence selection for antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacterial species. To investigate the environmental transport of contaminants that could lead to the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, a watershed with one of the highest levels of intensity of agricultural activity in Canada was studied; the Sumas River located 60 km east of Vancouver, British Columbia. This two-year assessment monitored four selected tetracycline resistance genes (tet(O), tet(M), tet(Q), tet(W)) and water quality parameters (temperature, specific conductivity, turbidity, suspended solids, nitrate, phosphate and chloride) at eight locations across the watershed. The tetracycline resistance genes (Tcr) abundances in the Sumas River network ranged between 1.47 × 102 and 3.49 × 104 copies/mL and ranged between 2.3 and 6.9 copies/mL in a control stream (located far from agricultural activities) for the duration of the study. Further, Tcr abundances that were detected in the wet season months ranged between 1.3 × 103 and 2.29 × 104 copies/mL compared with dry season months (ranging between 0.6 and 31.2 copies/mL). Highest transport rates between 1.67 × 1011 and 1.16 × 1012 copies/s were observed in November 2005 during periods of high rainfall. The study showed that elevated concentrations of antibiotic resistance genes in the order of 102–104 copies/mL can move through stream networks in an agricultural watershed but seasonal variations strongly influenced specific transport patterns of these genes.
LanguageEnglish
Pages490-498
Number of pages9
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume628-629
Early online date13 Feb 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018

Fingerprint

antibiotic resistance
Antibiotics
Tetracycline
Watersheds
Genes
Rivers
watershed
Fluxes
Anti-Bacterial Agents
gene
river
Impurities
pollutant
Bacteria
Biosolids
bacterium
Manures
Health risks
livestock farming
Fertilizers

Keywords

  • antibiotic resistance genes
  • tetracycline
  • environment
  • transport
  • agriculture
  • seasonality

Cite this

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title = "Seasonal dynamics of tetracycline resistance gene flux in the Sumas River agricultural watershed of British Columbia, Canada",
abstract = "Environmental transport of contaminants that can influence the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria is an important concern in the management of ecological and human health risks. Agricultural regions are locales wherepractices linked to food crop and livestock production can introduce contaminants that could alter the selective pressures for the development of antibiotic resistance in microbiota. This is important in regions where the use of animal manure or municipal biosolids as waste and/or fertilizer could influence selection for antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacterial species. To investigate the environmental transport of contaminants that could lead to the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, a watershed with one of the highest levels of intensity of agricultural activity in Canada was studied; the Sumas River located 60 km east of Vancouver, British Columbia. This two-year assessment monitored four selected tetracycline resistance genes (tet(O), tet(M), tet(Q), tet(W)) and water quality parameters (temperature, specific conductivity, turbidity, suspended solids, nitrate, phosphate and chloride) at eight locations across the watershed. The tetracycline resistance genes (Tcr) abundances in the Sumas River network ranged between 1.47 × 102 and 3.49 × 104 copies/mL and ranged between 2.3 and 6.9 copies/mL in a control stream (located far from agricultural activities) for the duration of the study. Further, Tcr abundances that were detected in the wet season months ranged between 1.3 × 103 and 2.29 × 104 copies/mL compared with dry season months (ranging between 0.6 and 31.2 copies/mL). Highest transport rates between 1.67 × 1011 and 1.16 × 1012 copies/s were observed in November 2005 during periods of high rainfall. The study showed that elevated concentrations of antibiotic resistance genes in the order of 102–104 copies/mL can move through stream networks in an agricultural watershed but seasonal variations strongly influenced specific transport patterns of these genes.",
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Seasonal dynamics of tetracycline resistance gene flux in the Sumas River agricultural watershed of British Columbia, Canada. / Keen, Patricia L.; Knapp, Charles W.; Hall, Kenneth J.; Graham, David W.

In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 628-629, 01.07.2018, p. 490-498.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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