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Title: Antibiotics in the Soil Environment - Degradation and Their Impact on Microbial Activity and Diversity
Authors: Cycoń, Mariusz
Mrozik, Agnieszka
Piotrowska-Seget, Zofia
Keywords: antibiotics; degradation; DT50; microbial activities; microbial community structure; antibiotic resistance genes; metagenomics; soil
Issue Date: 2019
Citation: Frontiers in Microbiology, Vol. 10 (2019), Art. No. 338
Abstract: Antibiotics play a key role in the management of infectious diseases in humans, animals, livestock, and aquacultures all over the world. The release of increasing amount of antibiotics into waters and soils creates a potential threat to all microorganisms in these environments. This review addresses issues related to the fate and degradation of antibiotics in soils and the impact of antibiotics on the structural, genetic and functional diversity of microbial communities. Due to the emergence of bacterial resistance to antibiotics, which is considered a worldwide public health problem, the abundance and diversity of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in soils are also discussed. When antibiotic residues enter the soil, the main processes determining their persistence are sorption to organic particles and degradation/transformation. The wide range of DT50 values for antibiotic residues in soils shows that the processes governing persistence depend on a number of different factors, e.g., physico-chemical properties of the residue, characteristics of the soil, and climatic factors (temperature, rainfall, and humidity). The results presented in this review show that antibiotics affect soil microorganisms by changing their enzyme activity and ability to metabolize different carbon sources, as well as by altering the overall microbial biomass and the relative abundance of different groups (i.e., Gram-negative bacteria, Gram-positive bacteria, and fungi) in microbial communities. Studies using methods based on analyses of nucleic acids prove that antibiotics alter the biodiversity ofmicrobial communities and the presence ofmany types of ARGs in soil are affected by agricultural and human activities. It is worth emphasizing that studies on ARGs in soil have resulted in the discovery of new genes and enzymes responsible for bacterial resistance to antibiotics. However, many ambiguous results indicate that precise estimation of the impact of antibiotics on the activity and diversity of soil microbial communities is a great challenge.
DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.00338
ISSN: 1664-302X
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