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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(10), 23390-23404;

Heavy Metal Induced Antibiotic Resistance in Bacterium LSJC7

State Key Lab of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
Key Lab of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Masato Matsuoka
Received: 5 September 2015 / Revised: 18 September 2015 / Accepted: 21 September 2015 / Published: 29 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Toxicology)
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Co-contamination of antibiotics and heavy metals prevails in the environment, and may play an important role in disseminating bacterial antibiotic resistance, but the selective effects of heavy metals on bacterial antibiotic resistance is largely unclear. To investigate this, the effects of heavy metals on antibiotic resistance were studied in a genome-sequenced bacterium, LSJC7. The results showed that the presence of arsenate, copper, and zinc were implicated in fortifying the resistance of LSJC7 towards tetracycline. The concentrations of heavy metals required to induce antibiotic resistance, i.e., the minimum heavy metal concentrations (MHCs), were far below (up to 64-fold) the minimum inhibition concentrations (MIC) of LSJC7. This finding indicates that the relatively low heavy metal levels in polluted environments and in treated humans and animals might be sufficient to induce bacterial antibiotic resistance. In addition, heavy metal induced antibiotic resistance was also observed for a combination of arsenate and chloramphenicol in LSJC7, and copper/zinc and tetracycline in antibiotic susceptible strain Escherichia coli DH5α. Overall, this study implies that heavy metal induced antibiotic resistance might be ubiquitous among various microbial species and suggests that it might play a role in the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance in metal and antibiotic co-contaminated environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: LSJC7; antibiotic; heavy metal; resistance LSJC7; antibiotic; heavy metal; resistance

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Chen, S.; Li, X.; Sun, G.; Zhang, Y.; Su, J.; Ye, J. Heavy Metal Induced Antibiotic Resistance in Bacterium LSJC7. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 23390-23404.

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