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Autoclave treatment of pig manure does not reduce the risk of transmission and transfer of tetracycline resistance genes in soil: successive determinations with soil column experiments

Kang, Yijun, Gu, Xian, Hao, Yangyang, Hu, Jian
Environmental science and pollution research international 2016 v.23 no.5 pp. 4551-4560
animal health, autoclaves, autoclaving, bacteria, environmental health, genes, livestock feeds, pig manure, risk, risk reduction, soil depth, temperature, temporal variation, tetracycline
The increasing use of antibiotics, especially tetracycline, in livestock feed adversely affects animal health and ecological integrity. Therefore, approaches to decrease this risk are urgently needed. High temperatures facilitate antibiotic degradation; whether this reduces transmission risk and transfer of tetracycline-resistant bacteria (TRBs) and tetracycline resistance genes (TRGs) in soil remains unknown. Successive experiments with soil columns evaluated the effects of autoclaving pig manure (APM) on soil TRB populations and TRGs over time at different soil depths. The data showed sharp increases in TRB populations and TRGs in each subsoil layer of PM (non-APM) and APM treatments within 30 days, indicating that TRBs and TRGs transferred rapidly. The level of TRBs in the upper soil layers was approximately 15-fold higher than in subsoils. TRBs were not dependent on PM and APM levels, especially in the late phase. Nevertheless, higher levels of APM led to rapid expansion of TRBs as compared to PM. Moreover, temporal changes in TRB frequencies in total culturable bacteria (TCBs) were similar to TRBs, indicating that the impact of PM or APM on TRBs was more obvious than for TCBs. TRBs were hypothesized to depend on the numbers of TRGs and indigenous recipient bacteria. In the plough layer, five TRGs (tetB, tetG, tetM, tetW, and tetB/P) existed in each treatment within 150 days. Selective pressure of TC may not be a necessary condition for the transfer and persistence of TRGs in soil. High temperatures might reduce TRBs in PM, which had minimal impact on the transmission and transfer of TRGs in soil. Identifying alternatives to decrease TRG transmission remains a major challenge.