Antimicrobial Chemicals Are Associated with Elevated Antibiotic Resistance Genes in the Indoor Dust Microbiome

Erica M. Hartmann*, Roxana Hickey, Tiffany Hsu, Clarisse M. Betancourt Román, Jing Chen, Randall Schwager, Jeff Kline, G. Z. Brown, Rolf U. Halden, Curtis Huttenhower, Jessica L. Green

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

Antibiotic resistance is increasingly widespread, largely due to human influence. Here, we explore the relationship between antibiotic resistance genes and the antimicrobial chemicals triclosan, triclocarban, and methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, and butylparaben in the dust microbiome. Dust samples from a mixed-use athletic and educational facility were subjected to microbial and chemical analyses using a combination of 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, shotgun metagenome sequencing, and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. The dust resistome was characterized by identifying antibiotic resistance genes annotated in the Comprehensive Antibiotic Resistance Database (CARD) from the metagenomes of each sample using the Short, Better Representative Extract Data set (ShortBRED). The three most highly abundant antibiotic resistance genes were tet(W), blaSRT-1, and erm(B). The complete dust resistome was then compared against the measured concentrations of antimicrobial chemicals, which for triclosan ranged from 0.5 to 1970 ng/g dust. We observed six significant positive associations between the concentration of an antimicrobial chemical and the relative abundance of an antibiotic resistance gene, including one between the ubiquitous antimicrobial triclosan and erm(X), a 23S rRNA methyltransferase implicated in resistance to several antibiotics. This study is the first to look for an association between antibiotic resistance genes and antimicrobial chemicals in dust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9807-9815
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume50
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 20 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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    Hartmann, E. M., Hickey, R., Hsu, T., Betancourt Román, C. M., Chen, J., Schwager, R., Kline, J., Brown, G. Z., Halden, R. U., Huttenhower, C., & Green, J. L. (2016). Antimicrobial Chemicals Are Associated with Elevated Antibiotic Resistance Genes in the Indoor Dust Microbiome. Environmental Science and Technology, 50(18), 9807-9815. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.6b00262