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Open AccessArticle

Distribution of Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Three Different Natural Water Bodies-A Lake, River and Sea

Department of Environment and Health, Tianjin Institude of Environmental and Operational Medicine, Tianjin 300050, China
Heping District Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Tianjin 300020, China
School of Public Health, Nanchang University, Nanchang 330006, Jiangxi, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 552;
Received: 14 October 2019 / Revised: 6 January 2020 / Accepted: 8 January 2020 / Published: 15 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surface Water Quality for Environment and Health)
Currently, due to abuse in the use of human antibiotics and the weak regulatory control that the authorities have over sewage discharge and manure management, antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) have become a new type of environmental pollutant. Three different natural water bodies (Poyang Lake, Haihe River and Qingdao No.1 Bathing Beach seawater) were sampled during the same periods to conduct a longitudinal comparison of distribution. The distribution and expression of 11 ARGs in 20 species were studied, and the correlations between the expression and the distribution of time and space of the ARGs in different water bodies were also analyzed. With the exception of ermA, blaNDM-1 and vanA, which were not detected in seawater, the other ARGs could be detected in all three water bodies. Tetracycline resistance genes (tetC, tetM and tetQ) in the seawater and Haihe River had even reached 100%, and sulfa ARGs (sul1 and sul2) in the seawater and Poyang Lake, as well as sul2 and sul3 in the Haihe River, had also reached 100%. The ARG pollution in Haihe River was much more serious, since 14 and 17 of 20 ARG species were significantly higher compared with seawater and Poyang Lake, respectively. Some ARGs also had a high absolute abundance. The absolute abundance of macrolide resistance genes (ermB) in seawater was as high as 8.61 × 107 copies/L, and the anti-tuberculosis resistant genes (rpoB and katG) in the Haihe River Basin were highly abundant at 1.32 × 106 copies/L and 1.06 × 107 copies/L, respectively. This indicates that ARGs have gradually become more diverse and extensive in natural water bodies. The results of a redundancy analysis (RDA) of the three water bodies showed that although each water body is affected by different factors in space and time, overall, the presence of AGRs is closely related to the production and life of human beings and the migration of animals. View Full-Text
Keywords: water body; ARGs; absolute abundance; redundancy analysis water body; ARGs; absolute abundance; redundancy analysis
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Su, S.; Li, C.; Yang, J.; Xu, Q.; Qiu, Z.; Xue, B.; Wang, S.; Zhao, C.; Xiao, Z.; Wang, J.; Shen, Z. Distribution of Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Three Different Natural Water Bodies-A Lake, River and Sea. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 552.

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