Dataset Information


Impact of Wastewater Treatment on the Prevalence of Integrons and the Genetic Diversity of Integron Gene Cassettes.

ABSTRACT: The integron platform allows the acquisition, expression, and dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes within gene cassettes. Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) contain abundant resistance genes; however, knowledge about the impacts of wastewater treatment on integrons and their gene cassettes is limited. In this study, by using clone library analysis and high-throughput sequencing, we investigated the abundance of class 1, 2, and 3 integrons and their corresponding gene cassettes in three urban WWTPs. Our results showed that class 1 integrons were most abundant in WWTPs and that wastewater treatment significantly reduced the abundance of all integrons. The WWTP influents harbored the highest diversity of class 1 integron gene cassettes, whereas class 3 integron gene cassettes exhibited highest diversity in activated sludge. Most of the gene cassette arrays detected in class 1 integrons were novel. Aminoglycoside, beta-lactam, and trimethoprim resistance genes were highly prevalent in class 1 integron gene cassettes, while class 3 integrons mainly carried beta-lactam resistance gene cassettes. A core class 1 integron resistance gene cassette pool persisted during wastewater treatment, implying that these resistance genes could have high potential to spread into environments through WWTPs. These data provide new insights into the impact of wastewater treatment on integron pools and highlight the need for surveillance of resistance genes within both class 1 and 3 integrons.IMPORTANCE Wastewater treatment plants represent a significant sink and transport medium for antibiotic resistance bacteria and genes spreading into environments. Integrons are important genetic elements involved in the evolution of antibiotic resistance. To better understand the impact of wastewater treatment on integrons and their gene cassette contexts, we conducted clone library construction and high-throughput sequencing to analyze gene cassette contexts for class 1 and class 3 integrons during the wastewater treatment process. This study comprehensively profiled the distribution of integrons and their gene cassettes (especially class 3 integrons) in influents, activated sludge, and effluents of conventional municipal wastewater treatment plants. We further demonstrated that while wastewater treatment significantly reduced the abundance of integrons and the diversity of associated gene cassettes, a large fraction of integrons persisted in wastewater effluents and were consequentially discharged into downstream natural environments.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5930335 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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