Studies on antibiotic production wastewater have shown that even a single antibiotic can select for multidrug resistant bacteria in aquatic environments. It is speculated that plasmids are an important mechanism of multidrug resistance (MDR) under high concentrations of antibiotics. Herein, two metagenomic libraries were constructed with plasmid DNA extracted from cultivable microbial communities in a biological wastewater treatment reactor supplemented with 0 (CONTROL) or 25 mg/L of oxytetracycline (OTC-25). The OTC-25 plasmidome reads were assigned to 72 antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) conferring resistance to 13 types of antibiotics. Dominant ARGs, encoding resistance to tetracycline, aminoglycoside, sulfonamide, and multidrug resistance genes, were enriched in the plasmidome under 25 mg/L of oxytetracycline. Furthermore, 17 contiguous multiple-ARG carrying contigs (carrying =?2 ARGs) were discovered in the OTC-25 plasmidome, whereas only nine were found in the CONTROL. Mapping of the OTC-25 plasmidome reads to completely sequenced plasmids revealed that the conjugative IncU resistance plasmid pFBAOT6 of Aeromonas caviae, carrying multidrug resistance transporter (pecM), tetracycline resistance genes (tetA, tetR), and transposase genes, might be a potential prevalent resistant plasmid in the OTC-25 plasmidome. Additionally, two novel resistant plasmids (containing contig C301682 carrying multidrug resistant operon mexCD-oprJ and contig C301632 carrying the tet36 and transposases genes) might also be potential prevalent resistant plasmids in the OTC-25 plasmidome. This study will be helpful to better understand the role of plasmids in the development of MDR in water environments under high antibiotic concentrations.
Journal: Applied microbiology and biotechnology