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Environ Pollut. 2015 Nov;206:342-51. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2015.07.028. Epub 2015 Jul 30.

Antibiotic resistance marker genes as environmental pollutants in GMO-pristine agricultural soils in Austria.

Author information

1
Division for Data, Statistics and Risk Assessment, Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES - Österreichische Agentur für Gesundheit und Ernährungssicherheit), Vienna and Graz, Austria. Electronic address: markus.woegerbauer@ages.at.
2
Division for Public Health, Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES - Österreichische Agentur für Gesundheit und Ernährungssicherheit), Vienna, Austria.
3
Division for Food Security, Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES - Österreichische Agentur für Gesundheit und Ernährungssicherheit), Vienna, Austria.
4
Department of Integrative Biology and Biodiversity Research (DIB), Institute of Zoology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria.
5
Division for Data, Statistics and Risk Assessment, Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES - Österreichische Agentur für Gesundheit und Ernährungssicherheit), Vienna and Graz, Austria.
6
Ingenetix, Vienna, Austria.
7
GenØk - Centre for Biosafety and Department of Pharmacy, University of Tromsø, Norway.

Abstract

Antibiotic resistance genes may be considered as environmental pollutants if anthropogenic emission and manipulations increase their prevalence above usually occurring background levels. The prevalence of aph(3')-IIa/nptII and aph(3')-IIIa/nptIII - frequent marker genes in plant biotechnology conferring resistance to certain aminoglycosides - was determined in Austrian soils from 100 maize and potato fields not yet exposed to but eligible for GMO crop cultivation. Total soil DNA extracts were analysed by nptII/nptIII-specific TaqMan real time PCR. Of all fields 6% were positive for nptII (median: 150 copies/g soil; range: 31-856) and 85% for nptIII (1190 copies/g soil; 13-61600). The copy-number deduced prevalence of nptIII carriers was 14-fold higher compared to nptII. Of the cultivable kanamycin-resistant soil bacteria 1.8% (95% confidence interval: 0-3.3%) were positive for nptIII, none for nptII (0-0.8%). The nptII-load of the studied soils was low rendering nptII a typical candidate as environmental pollutant upon anthropogenic release into these ecosystems.

KEYWORDS:

Aminoglycosides; Antibiotics; Real time PCR; Resistance; Soil contamination

PMID:
26232739
DOI:
10.1016/j.envpol.2015.07.028
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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