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Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 17;7:40610. doi: 10.1038/srep40610.

Bacterial plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance genes in aquatic environments in China.

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State Key Laboratory of Microbial Technology, School of Life Sciences, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China.
Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Water Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China.


Emerging antimicrobial resistance is a major threat to human's health in the 21st century. Understanding and combating this issue requires a full and unbiased assessment of the current status on the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance genes and their correlation with each other and bacterial groups. In aquatic environments that are known reservoirs for antimicrobial resistance genes, we were able to reach this goal on plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) genes that lead to resistance to quinolones and possibly also to the co-emergence of resistance to β-lactams. Novel findings were made that qepA and aac-(6')-Ib genes that were previously regarded as similarly abundant with qnr genes are now dominant among PMQR genes in aquatic environments. Further statistical analysis suggested that the correlation between PMQR and β-lactam resistance genes in the environment is still weak, that the correlations between antimicrobial resistance genes could be weakened by sufficient wastewater treatment, and that the prevalence of PMQR has been implicated in environmental, pathogenic, predatory, anaerobic, and more importantly, human symbiotic bacteria. This work provides a comprehensive analysis of PMQR genes in aquatic environments in Jinan, China, and provides information with which combat with the antimicrobial resistance problem may be fought.

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