Antibiotic resistance is prevalent in an isolated cave microbiome.
ABSTRACT: Antibiotic resistance is a global challenge that impacts all pharmaceutically used antibiotics. The origin of the genes associated with this resistance is of significant importance to our understanding of the evolution and dissemination of antibiotic resistance in pathogens. A growing body of evidence implicates environmental organisms as reservoirs of these resistance genes; however, the role of anthropogenic use of antibiotics in the emergence of these genes is controversial. We report a screen of a sample of the culturable microbiome of Lechuguilla Cave, New Mexico, in a region of the cave that has been isolated for over 4 million years. We report that, like surface microbes, these bacteria were highly resistant to antibiotics; some strains were resistant to 14 different commercially available antibiotics. Resistance was detected to a wide range of structurally different antibiotics including daptomycin, an antibiotic of last resort in the treatment of drug resistant Gram-positive pathogens. Enzyme-mediated mechanisms of resistance were also discovered for natural and semi-synthetic macrolide antibiotics via glycosylation and through a kinase-mediated phosphorylation mechanism. Sequencing of the genome of one of the resistant bacteria identified a macrolide kinase encoding gene and characterization of its product revealed it to be related to a known family of kinases circulating in modern drug resistant pathogens. The implications of this study are significant to our understanding of the prevalence of resistance, even in microbiomes isolated from human use of antibiotics. This supports a growing understanding that antibiotic resistance is natural, ancient, and hard wired in the microbial pangenome.
Project description:Antibiotic resistance is ancient and widespread in environmental bacteria. These are therefore reservoirs of resistance elements and reflective of the natural history of antibiotics and resistance. In a previous study, we discovered that multi-drug resistance is common in bacteria isolated from Lechuguilla Cave, an underground ecosystem that has been isolated from the surface for over 4 Myr. Here we use whole-genome sequencing, functional genomics and biochemical assays to reveal the intrinsic resistome of Paenibacillus sp. LC231, a cave bacterial isolate that is resistant to most clinically used antibiotics. We systematically link resistance phenotype to genotype and in doing so, identify 18 chromosomal resistance elements, including five determinants without characterized homologues and three mechanisms not previously shown to be involved in antibiotic resistance. A resistome comparison across related surface Paenibacillus affirms the conservation of resistance over millions of years and establishes the longevity of these genes in this genus.
Project description:The ecology of antibiotic resistance involves the interplay of a long natural history of antibiotic production in the environment, and the modern selection of resistance in pathogens through human use of these drugs. Important components of the resistome are intrinsic resistance genes of environmental bacteria, evolved and acquired over millennia, and their mobilization, which drives dissemination in pathogens. Understanding the dynamics and evolution of resistance across bacterial taxa is essential to address the current crisis in drug-resistant infections. Here we report the exploration of antibiotic resistance in the Paenibacillaceae prompted by our discovery of an ancient intrinsic resistome in Paenibacillus sp. LC231, recovered from the isolated Lechuguilla cave environment. Using biochemical and gene expression analysis, we have mined the resistome of the second member of the Paenibacillaceae family, Brevibacillus brevis VM4, which produces several antimicrobial secondary metabolites. Using phylogenomics, we show that Paenibacillaceae resistomes are in flux, evolve mostly independent of secondary metabolite biosynthetic diversity, and are characterized by cryptic, redundant, pseudoparalogous, and orthologous genes. We find that in contrast to pathogens, mobile genetic elements are not significantly responsible for resistome remodeling. This offers divergent modes of resistome development in pathogens and environmental bacteria.
Project description:Urban waterways represent a natural reservoir of antibiotic resistance which may provide a source of transferable genetic elements to human commensal bacteria and pathogens. The objective of this study was to evaluate antibiotic resistance of Escherichia coli isolated from the urban waterways of Milwaukee, WI compared to those from Milwaukee sewage and a clinical setting in Milwaukee. Antibiotics covering 10 different families were utilized to determine the phenotypic antibiotic resistance for all 259 E. coli isolates. All obtained isolates were determined to be multi-drug resistant. The E. coli isolates were also screened for the presence of the genetic determinants of resistance including ermB (macrolide resistance), tet(M) (tetracycline resistance), and ?-lactamases (bla OXA, bla SHV, and bla PSE). E. coli from urban waterways showed a greater incidence of antibiotic resistance to 8 of 17 antibiotics tested compared to human derived sources. These E. coli isolates also demonstrated a greater incidence of resistance to higher numbers of antibiotics compared to the human derived isolates. The urban waterways demonstrated a greater abundance of isolates with co-occurrence of antibiotic resistance than human derived sources. When screened for five different antibiotic resistance genes conferring macrolide, tetracycline, and ?-lactam resistance, clinical E. coli isolates were more likely to harbor ermB and bla OXA than isolates from urban waterway. These results indicate that Milwaukee's urban waterways may select or allow for a greater incidence of multiple antibiotic resistance organisms and likely harbor a different antibiotic resistance gene pool than clinical sources. The implications of this study are significant to understanding the presence of resistance in urban freshwater environments by supporting the idea that sediment from urban waterways serves as a reservoir of antibiotic resistance.
Project description:Macrolide antibiotics are macrocyclic compounds that are clinically used and prescribed for the treatment of upper and lower respiratory tract infections. They inhibit the synthesis of bacterial proteins by reversible binding to the 23S rRNA at or near the peptidyl transferase center. However, their excellent antibacterial profile was largely compromised by the emergence of bacterial resistance. Today, fighting resistance to antibiotics is one of the greatest challenges in medicinal chemistry. Considering various physicochemical properties of macrolides, understanding their structure and interactions with macromolecular targets is crucial for the design of new antibiotics efficient against resistant pathogens. The solid-state structures of some macrolide-ribosome complexes have recently been solved, throwing new light on the macrolide binding mechanisms. On the other hand, a combination of NMR spectroscopy and molecular modeling calculations can be applied to study free and bound conformations in solution. In this article, a description of advanced physicochemical methods for elucidating the structure and interactions of macrolide antibiotics in solid state and solution will be provided, and their principal advantages and drawbacks will be discussed.
Project description:In 2016, the World Health Organization deemed antibiotic resistance one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development. The need for new methods to combat infections caused by antibiotic resistant pathogens will require a variety of approaches to identifying effective new therapeutic strategies. One approach is the identification of small molecule adjuvants that potentiate the activity of antibiotics of demonstrated utility, whose efficacy is abated by resistance, both acquired and intrinsic. To this end, we have identified compounds that enhance the efficacy of antibiotics normally ineffective against Gram-negative pathogens because of the outer membrane permeability barrier. We identified two adjuvant compounds that dramatically enhance sensitivity of Acinetobacter baumannii to macrolide and glycopeptide antibiotics, with reductions in minimum inhibitory concentrations as high as 256-fold, and we observed activity across a variety of clinical isolates. Mode of action studies indicate that these adjuvants likely work by modulating lipopolysaccharide synthesis or assembly. The adjuvants were active in vivo in a Galleria mellonella infection model, indicating potential for use in mammalian infections.
Project description:Background:Why resistance to specific antibiotics emerges and spreads rapidly in some bacteria confronting these drugs but not others remains a mystery. Resistance to erythromycin in the respiratory pathogens Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae emerged rapidly and increased problematically. However, resistance is uncommon amongst the classic Bordetella species despite infections being treated with this macrolide for decades. Objectives:We examined whether the apparent progenitor of the classic Bordetella spp., Bordetella bronchiseptica, is able to rapidly generate de novo resistance to antibiotics and, if so, why such resistance might not persist and propagate. Methods:Independent strains of B. bronchiseptica resistant to erythromycin were generated in vitro by successively passaging them in increasing subinhibitory concentrations of this macrolide. Resistant mutants obtained were evaluated for their capacity to infect mice, and for other virulence properties including adherence, cytotoxicity and induction of cytokines. Results:B. bronchiseptica rapidly developed stable and persistent antibiotic resistance de novo. Unlike the previously reported trade-off in fitness, multiple independent resistant mutants were not defective in their rates of growth in vitro but were consistently defective in colonizing mice and lost a variety of virulence phenotypes. These changes rendered them avirulent but phenotypically similar to the previously described growth phase associated with the ability to survive in soil, water and/or other extra-mammalian environments. Conclusions:These observations raise the possibility that antibiotic resistance in some organisms results in trade-offs that are not quantifiable in routine measures of general fitness such as growth in vitro, but are pronounced in various aspects of infection in the natural host.
Project description:Macrolide antibiotics are important for clinical treatment of infections caused by Campylobacter jejuni. Development of resistance to this class of antibiotics in Campylobacter is a complex process, and the dynamic molecular changes involved in this process remain poorly defined. Multiple lineages of macrolide-resistant mutants were selected by stepwise exposure of C. jejuni to escalating doses of erythromycin or tylosin. Mutations in target genes were determined by DNA sequencing, and the dynamic changes in the expression of antibiotic efflux transporters and the transcriptome of C. jejuni were examined by real-time reverse transcription-PCR, immunoblotting, and DNA microarray analysis. Multiple types of mutations in ribosomal proteins L4 and L22 occurred early during stepwise selection. On the contrary, the mutations in the 23S rRNA gene, mediating high resistance to macrolides, were observed only in the late-stage mutants. Upregulation of antibiotic efflux genes was observed in the intermediately resistant mutants, and the magnitude of upregulation declined with the occurrence of mutations in the 23S rRNA gene. DNA microarray analysis revealed the differential expression of 265 genes, most of which occurred in the intermediate mutant, including the upregulation of genes encoding ribosomal proteins and the downregulation of genes involved in energy metabolism and motility. These results indicate (i) that mutations in L4 and L22 along with temporal overexpression of antibiotic efflux genes precede and may facilitate the development of high-level macrolide resistance and (ii) that the development of macrolide resistance affects the pathways important for physiology and metabolism in C. jejuni, providing an explanation for the reduced fitness of macrolide-resistant Campylobacter.
Project description:Nosocomial pathogens such as Acinetobacter baumannii are a growing public health threat, due in part to their increasing resistance to antibiotics. Since some strains are resistant to all available antibiotics, novel therapies are urgently needed. Plasmablasts are short-lived B cells found in the blood that can be collected and harnessed to produce therapeutic antibodies. We set out to determine whether plasmablasts are induced during infection with A. baumannii and other nosocomial pathogens.We obtained blood samples from patients infected with antibiotic-resistant nosocomial pathogens, and analysed their plasmablast response by flow cytometry.We observed a strong induction of plasmablasts in patients with antibiotic-resistant A. baumannii infection. Furthermore, plasmablasts were also induced in response to other drug-resistant nosocomial pathogens.These data suggest that plasmablasts may be broadly harnessed to develop therapeutic antibodies to combat otherwise untreatable antibiotic-resistant infections.
Project description:Food animal production systems have become more consolidated and integrated, producing large, concentrated animal populations and significant amounts of fecal waste. Increasing use of manure and litter as a more "natural" and affordable source of fertilizer may be contributing to contamination of fruits and vegetables with foodborne pathogens. In addition, human and animal manure have been identified as a significant source of antibiotic resistance genes thereby serving as a disseminator of resistance to soil and waterways. Therefore, identifying methods to remediate human and animal waste is critical in developing strategies to improve food safety and minimize the dissemination of antibiotic resistant bacteria. In this study, we sought to determine whether withdrawing antibiotic growth promoters or using alternatives to antibiotics would reduce the abundance of antibiotic resistance genes or prevalence of pathogens in poultry litter. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) paired with high throughput sequencing was used to evaluate the bacterial community composition of litter from broiler chickens that were treated with streptogramin growth-promoting antibiotics, probiotics, or prebiotics. The prevalence of resistance genes and pathogens was determined from sequencing results or PCR screens of litter community DNA. Streptogramin antibiotic usage did not elicit statistically significant differences in Shannon diversity indices or correlation coefficients among the flocks. However, T-RFLP revealed that there were inter-farm differences in the litter composition that was independent of antibiotic usage. The litter from all farms, regardless of antibiotic usage, contained streptogramin resistance genes (vatA, vatB, and vatE), macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B resistance genes (ermA and ermB), the tetracycline resistance gene tetM and class 1 integrons. There was inter-farm variability in the distribution of vatA and vatE with no statistically significant differences with regards to usage. Bacterial diversity was higher in litter when probiotics or prebiotics were administered to flocks but as the litter aged, diversity decreased. No statistically significant differences were detected in the abundance of class 1 integrons where 3%-5% of the community was estimated to harbor a copy. Abundance of pathogenic Clostridium species increased in aging litter despite the treatment while the abundance of tetracycline-resistant coliforms was unaffected by treatment. However some treatments decreased the prevalence of Salmonella. These findings suggest that withdrawing antibiotics or administering alternatives to antibiotics can change the litter bacterial community and reduce the prevalence of some pathogenic bacteria, but may not immediately impact the prevalence of antibiotic resistance.
Project description:Laboratory studies have suggested that antibiotic resistance may result in decreased fitness in the bacteria that harbor it. Observational studies have supported this, but due to ethical and practical considerations, it is rare to have experimental control over antibiotic prescription rates.We analyze data from a 54-month longitudinal trial that monitored pneumococcal drug resistance during and after biannual mass distribution of azithromycin for the elimination of the blinding eye disease, trachoma. Prescription of azithromycin and antibiotics that can create cross-resistance to it is rare in this part of the world. As a result, we were able to follow trends in resistance with minimal influence from unmeasured antibiotic use. Using these data, we fit a probabilistic disease transmission model that included two resistant strains, corresponding to the two dominant modes of resistance to macrolide antibiotics. We estimated the relative fitness of these two strains to be 0.86 (95% CI 0.80 to 0.90), and 0.88 (95% CI 0.82 to 0.93), relative to antibiotic-sensitive strains. We then used these estimates to predict that, within 5 years of the last antibiotic treatment, there would be a 95% chance of elimination of macrolide resistance by intra-species competition alone.Although it is quite possible that the fitness cost of macrolide resistance is sufficient to ensure its eventual elimination in the absence of antibiotic selection, this process takes time, and prevention is likely the best policy in the fight against resistance.