UNLABELLED: This study investigated the impact of composting and lagoon storage on survival and change in diversity of tetracycline-resistant (Tc(r) ) and erythromycin-resistant (Em(r) ) bacteria and the resistance genes they carry in swine manure. Treatments were arranged as a 2 × 2 factorial design: composting vs lagoon storage and 0 vs 1% Surround WP Crop Protectant (a clay product) in three replicates. After 48 days of treatments, resistant bacteria were enumerated by selective plating and identified by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The erm and the tet gene(s) carried by the resistant isolates were screened using class-specific PCR assays. The plate counts of Tc(r) and Em(r) bacteria decreased by 4-7 logs by composting, but only by 1-2 logs by the lagoon treatment. During the treatments, Acinetobacter gave way to Pseudomonas and Providencia as the largest resistant genera. The clay product had little effect on survival or diversity of resistant bacteria. Of six classes of erm and seven classes of tet genes tested, changes in prevalence were also noted. The results indicate that composting can dramatically shift Tc(r) and Em(r) bacterial populations, and composting can be an effective and practical approach to decrease dissemination of antibiotic resistance from swine farms to the environment.
SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: The presented research provided evidence that composting is much more effective than lagoon storage in dramatically decreasing culturable bacteria resistant to erythromycin and tetracycline in swine manure. Considerable diversity changes of resistant bacteria were also demonstrated during composting or lagoon storage. Overall, Acinetobacter was the major resistant genus in untreated swine manure, but pseudomonads and Providencia became the major resistant genera after the treatments. This is the first study that investigated diversity changes of cultured bacteria resistant to these two antibiotics during composting and lagoon storage of swine manure. New genes encoding resistance to the two antibiotics were also implied in the cultured isolates.
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