Antibiotic resistance genes as landscape anthropization indicators: Using a wild felid as sentinel in Chile
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Antimicrobial resistance is a global emerging public health issue whose presence and impact in wildlife are widely unknown. Antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs) are considered environmental contaminants, suitable to evaluate the degree of anthropic impact on wildlife and the environment. We used a wild felid, the guigna (Leopardus guigna), as a sentinel for the presence of ARGs in anthropized and pristine areas across their entire distribution range in Chile. We evaluated fecal samples from 51 wild guignas, collected between 2009 and 2018. Real-time PCR essays were employed to detect and quantify 22 selected ARGs in their fecal microbiome. All animals (100%) were positive for at least one ARG. The most prevalent ARG families were those that confer resistance to tetracycline (88.2%) and beta-lactamase (68.9%), with tet (Q) (60.8%), tet(W) (60.8%), and bla(TEM) (66.7%) as the most prevalent ARGs. Multi-resistance profiles were observed in 43% of the guignas. Statistically significant differences were found between anthropized and pristine areas for tet(Q) (p = 0.014), tet(W) (p = 0.0037), tetracycline family (p = 0.027), multi-resistance profile prevalence (p = 0.043) and tet(W) quantification (p = 0.004). Two animals from anthropized landscapes were positive for mecA, a gene associated with Staphylococcus aureus and other staphylococci resistant to methicillin, while three animals from anthropized areas were positive for bla(CTX-M), that encodes class A extended-spectrum beta-lactamase. Both genes have been identified in bacteria causing relevant nosocomial infections worldwide. This is the first study on ARGs in wild felids from Chile and the first detection of mecA in South American wild felids. We observed an association between the degree of landscape anthropization and ARG prevalence, confirming that ARGs are important indicators of wildlife exposure to human activity/presence, with a widespread distribution. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Artículo de publicación ISI
Quote ItemScience of the Total Environment 703 (2020) 134900
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