Diversity of virulence and antibiotic resistance genes expressed in Class A biosolids and biosolids-amended soil as revealed by metatranscriptomic analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Class A biosolids is a treated sewage sludge, commonly applied to agricultural fields, home lawns/gardens, golf courses, forests, and remediation sites around the world. This practice is of public and agricultural concern due to the possibility that biosolids contain antibiotic-resistant bacteria and fungal pathogens that could persist for extended periods in soil. This possibility was determined by metatranscriptomic analysis of virulence, antibiotic resistance, and plasmid conjugation genes, a Class A biosolids, organically managed soil, and biosolids-amended soil under realistic conditions. Biosolids harbored numerous transcriptionally active pathogens, antibiotic resistance genes, and conjugative genes that annotated mostly to Gram-positive pathogens of animal hosts. Biosolids amendment to soil significantly increased the expression of virulence genes by numerous pathogens and antibiotic-resistant genes that were strongly associated with biosolids. Biosolids amendment also significantly increased the expression of virulence genes by native soil fungal pathogens of plant hosts, which suggests higher risks of crop damage by soil fungal pathogens in biosolids-amended soil. Although results are likely to be different in other soils, biosolids, and microbial growth conditions, they provide a more holistic, accurate view of potential health risks associated with biosolids and biosolids-amended soils than has been achievable with more selective cultivation and PCR-based techniques.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLetters in Applied Microbiology
Volume76
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Applied Microbiology International.

Keywords

  • antibiotic resistance
  • biosolids
  • pathogens
  • public health
  • soil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Diversity of virulence and antibiotic resistance genes expressed in Class A biosolids and biosolids-amended soil as revealed by metatranscriptomic analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this