Modelling the effectiveness of surveillance based on metagenomics in detecting, monitoring, and forecasting antimicrobial resistance in livestock production under economic constraints

Ofosuhene O. Apenteng*, Frank M. Aarestrup, Håkan Vigre*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Current surveillance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is mostly based on testing indicator bacteria using minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) panels. Metagenomics has the potential to identify all known antimicrobial resistant genes (ARGs) in complex samples and thereby detect changes in the occurrence earlier. Here, we simulate the results of an AMR surveillance program based on metagenomics in the Danish pig population. We modelled both an increase in the occurrence of ARGs and an introduction of a new ARG in a few farms and the subsequent spread to the entire population. To make the simulation realistic, the total cost of the surveillance was constrained, and the sampling schedule was set at one pool per month with 5, 20, 50, or 100 samples. Our simulations demonstrate that a pool of 20-50 samples and a sequencing depth of 250 million fragments resulted in the shortest time to detection in both scenarios, with a time delay to detection of change of >15 months in all scenarios. Compared with culture-based surveillance, our simulation indicates that there are neither significant reductions nor increases in time to detect a change using metagenomics. The benefit of metagenomics is that it is possible to monitor all known resistance in one sampling and laboratory procedure in contrast to the current monitoring that is based on the phenotypic characterisation of selected indicator bacterial species. Therefore, overall changes in AMR in a population will be detected earlier using metagenomics due to the fact that the resistance gene does not have to be transferred to and expressed by an indicator bacteria before it is possible to detect.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20410
JournalScientific Reports
Volume13
Issue number1
Number of pages15
ISSN2045-2322
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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