Occurrence and diversity of tetracycline resistance genes in lagoons and groundwater underlying two swine production facilities

J. C. Chee-Sanford, Rustam Aminov, I. J. Krapac, N. Garrigues-Jeanjean, R. I. Mackie

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In this study, we used PCR typing methods to assess the presence of tetracycline resistance determinants conferring ribosomal protection in waste lagoons and in groundwater underlying two swine farms. All eight classes of genes encoding this mechanism of resistance [tet(O), tet(Q), tet(W), tet(M), tetB(P), tet(S), tet(T), and otrA] were found in total DNA extracted from water of two lagoons. These determinants were found to be seeping into the underlying groundwater and could be detected as far as 250 m downstream from the lagoons, The identities and origin of these genes in groundwater were confirmed by PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and sequence analyses. Tetracycline-resistant bacterial isolates from groundwater harbored the tet(M) gene, which was not predominant in the environmental samples and was identical to tet(M) from the lagoons, The presence of this gene in some typical soil inhabitants suggests that the vector of antibiotic resistance gene dissemination is not limited to strains of gastrointestinal origin carrying the gene but can be mobilized into the indigenous soil microbiota. This study demonstrated that tet genes occur in the environment as a direct result of agriculture and suggested that groundwater may be a potential source of antibiotic resistance in the food chain.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1494-1502
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal Husbandry
  • Animals
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Fresh Water
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria
  • Gram-Positive Cocci
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Swine
  • Tetracycline Resistance
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid
  • fresh water
  • ribosome DNA
  • RNA 16S
  • animal
  • animal husbandry
  • antibiotic resistance
  • article
  • bacterial gene
  • classification
  • drug effect
  • genetics
  • Gram negative bacterium
  • Gram positive cocci
  • isolation and purification
  • methodology
  • microbiology
  • molecular genetics
  • phylogeny
  • polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis
  • polymerase chain reaction
  • sewage
  • swine
  • swine production facilities
  • waste groundwater
  • waste lagoons
  • Artiodactyla Mammalia Vertebrata Chordata Animalia (Animals, Artiodactyls, Chordates, Mammals, Nonhuman Vertebrates, Nonhuman Mammals, Vertebrates) - Suidae [85740] swine
  • Microorganisms (Bacteria, Eubacteria, Microorganisms) - Bacteria [05000] bacteria
  • bacteria otrA gene [Bacteria]
  • bacteria tetB gene [Bacteria]
  • bacteria tetM gene [Bacteria]
  • bacteria tetO gene [Bacteria]
  • bacteria tetQ gene [Bacteria]
  • bacteria tetS gene [Bacteria]
  • bacteria tetT gene [Bacteria]
  • bacteria tetW gene [Bacteria]
  • tetracycline 60-54-8 antibiotic
  • tetracycline resistance genes
  • 03502, Genetics - General
  • 03506, Genetics - Animal
  • 10060, Biochemistry studies - General
  • 12512, Pathology - Therapy
  • 22002, Pharmacology - General
  • 31000, Physiology and biochemistry of bacteria
  • 31500, Genetics of bacteria and viruses
  • 37014, Public health - Sewage disposal and sanitary measures
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
  • Sanitation
  • Infection
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Pharmacology
  • Waste Management

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