Using microplastics to detect/predict future antibiotic-resistance genes
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How is it connected with microplastics?
- MPs carry bacteria that are pathogenic, due to surface hydrophobicity that promotes acclimation of biofilms
- MPs selectively promote antibiotic-resistant and pathogenic taxa --> microplastics can enrich antibiotic resistant genes from municipal activated sludge
- 6.6-, 5.2- and 8.3-fold increased adsorption of E.coli (harboring plasmid-borne blaTEM-1), plasmid pET29 (harboring blaNDM-1) and phage lambda (carrying the aphA1 ARG) onto 20-day UV-aged polystirene -MP particles --> due to increased specific surface area and affinity for these ARG vectors
- releasing more organic compounds that induce intracellular ROS generation, increase cell permeability and upregulate HGT associated genes
- enhance ARG transfer frequency from E.coli, plasmid pET29 and phage lambda (relative to MP0, non-aged MP) by 1.3-, 4.7- and 3.5-fold
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