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Insights into the Bacterial Profiles and Resistome Structures Following the Severe 2018 Flood in Kerala, South India

Interdisciplinary Biology, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB), Thiruvananthapuram 695 014, Kerala, India
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These authors contributed equally.
Microorganisms 2019, 7(10), 474; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7100474
Received: 18 September 2019 / Revised: 27 September 2019 / Accepted: 8 October 2019 / Published: 19 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Microbiology)
Extreme flooding is one of the major risk factors for human health, and it can significantly influence the microbial communities and enhance the mobility of infectious disease agents within the affected areas. The flood crisis in 2018 was one of the severe natural calamities recorded in the southern state of India (Kerala) that significantly affected its economy and ecological habitat. We utilized a combination of shotgun metagenomics and bioinformatics approaches to understand the bacterial profile and the abundance of pathogenic and antibiotic-resistant bacteria in extremely flooded areas of Kuttanad, Kerala (4–10 feet below sea level). Here we report the bacterial profiles of flooded sites that are abundant with virulent and resistant bacteria. The flooded sites were heavily contaminated with faecal contamination indicators such as Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecalis and multidrug-resistant strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella typhi/typhimurium, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Vibrio cholerae. The resistome of the flooded sites contains 103 known resistant genes, of which 38% are plasmid-encoded, where most of them are known to be associated with pathogenic bacteria. Our results reveal an overall picture of the bacterial profile and resistome of sites following a devastating flood event, which might increase the levels of pathogens and its associated risks. View Full-Text
Keywords: metagenomics; flood; antibiotic resistance; bacterial diversity; resistome metagenomics; flood; antibiotic resistance; bacterial diversity; resistome
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Jaya Divakaran, S.; Sara Philip, J.; Chereddy, P.; Nori, S.R.C.; Jaya Ganesh, A.; John, J.; Nelson-Sathi, S. Insights into the Bacterial Profiles and Resistome Structures Following the Severe 2018 Flood in Kerala, South India. Microorganisms 2019, 7, 474.

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