Copper amendment of agricultural soil selects for bacterial antibiotic resistance in the field

J. Berg, A. Tom-Petersen, O. Nybroe

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Aims: The objective of this study was to determine whether Cu-amendment of field plots affects the frequency of Cu resistance, and antibiotic resistance patterns in indigenous soil bacteria. Methods and Results: Soil bacteria were isolated from untreated and Cu-amended field plots. Cu-amendment significantly increased the frequency of Cu-resistant isolates. A panel of isolates were characterized by Gram-reaction, amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis and resistance profiling against seven antibiotics. More than 95% of the Cu-resistant isolates were Gram-negative. Cu-resistant Gram-negative isolates had significantly higher incidence of resistance to ampicillin, sulphanilamide and multiple (greater than or equal to3) antibiotics than Cu-sensitive Gram-negative isolates. Furthermore, Cu-resistant Gram-negative isolates from Cu-contaminated plots had significantly higher incidence of resistance to chloramphenicol and multiple (greater than or equal to2) antibiotics than corresponding isolates from control plots. Significance and Impact of the Study: The results of this field experiment show that introduction of Cu to agricultural soil selects for Cu resistance, but also indirectly selects for antibiotic resistance in the Cu-resistant bacteria. Hence, the widespread accumulation of Cu in agricultural soils worldwide could have a significant effect on the environmental selection of antibiotic resistance.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalLetters in Applied Microbiology
    Volume40
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)146-151
    ISSN0266-8254
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

    Keywords

    • culturable bacteria
    • copper resistance
    • amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis
    • community structure

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