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ISME J. 2014 Apr;8(4):768-77. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2013.189. Epub 2013 Oct 24.

Quantitative and qualitative impact of hospital effluent on dissemination of the integron pool.

Author information

1
1] Inserm U1092, Faculté de Médecine, Limoges, France [2] Université de Limoges, UMR-S1092, Limoges, France [3] CHU Limoges, Limoges, France [4] Université de Limoges, EA4330 GRESE, ENSIL-Ester Technopole, Limoges, France.
2
1] Inserm U1092, Faculté de Médecine, Limoges, France [2] Université de Limoges, UMR-S1092, Limoges, France [3] CHU Limoges, Limoges, France.
3
Laboratoire de Génétique et Physiologie Bactérienne, Université Libre de Bruxelles Gosselies, Belgium.
4
Université de Limoges, EA4330 GRESE, ENSIL-Ester Technopole, Limoges, France.
5
1] Inserm U1092, Faculté de Médecine, Limoges, France [2] Université de Limoges, UMR-S1092, Limoges, France.

Abstract

There is increasing evidence that human activity, and especially the resulting effluent, has a major role in the dissemination of bacterial antibiotic-resistance determinants in the environment. Hospitals are the major antibiotic consumers and thus facilitate the spread of antibiotic resistance. Questions are increasingly being raised about the management of hospital effluents, but their involvement in antibiotic-resistance dissemination has never been assessed. Integrons are a paradigm of genetic transfer between the environmental resistome and both commensal and pathogenic bacteria. In order to assess the impact of hospital activities on antibiotic-resistance dissemination in the environment, we monitored integrons and their gene cassettes in hospital effluents, and their release in the environment. We found that bacterial communities present in a hospital effluent contained a high proportion of integrons. In terms of both their gene cassette diversity and gene cassette arrays, the urban effluent and municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) influent were most similar, whereas the hospital effluent and recirculation sludge exhibited very specific patterns. We found that anthropogenic activities led to the release of abundant integrons and antibiotic-resistance gene cassettes, but we observed no specific impact of hospital activities on the receiving environment. Furthermore, although the WWTP did not reduce the normalized integron copy number, it reduced the diversity of gene cassette arrays contained in the raw wastewater, underlining the effect of the biological treatment on the anthropogenic integron pool arriving at the WWTP.

PMID:
24152716
PMCID:
PMC3960533
DOI:
10.1038/ismej.2013.189
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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