Alterations of Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium Antibiotic Resistance under Environmental Pressure
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Microbial horizontal gene transfer is a continuous process that shapes bacterial genomic adaptation to the environment and the composition of concurrent microbial ecology. This includes the potential impact of synthetic antibiotic utilization in farm animal production on overall antibiotic resistance issues; however, the mechanisms behind the evolution of microbial communities are not fully understood. We explored potential mechanisms by experimentally examining the relatedness of phylogenetic
... nference between multidrug-resistant Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium isolates and pathogenic Salmonella Typhimurium strains based on genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) comparisons. Antibiotic-resistant S. Typhimurium isolates in a simulated farm environment barely lost their resistance, whereas sensitive S. Typhimurium isolates in soils gradually acquired higher tetracycline resistance under antibiotic pressure and manipulated differential expression of antibiotic-resistant genes. The expeditious development of antibiotic resistance and the ensuing genetic alterations in antimicrobial resistance genes in S. Typhimurium warrant effective actions to control the dissemination of Salmonella antibiotic resistance. IMPORTANCE Antibiotic resistance is attributed to the misuse or overuse of antibiotics in agriculture, and antibiotic resistance genes can also be transferred to bacteria under environmental stress. In this study, we report a unidirectional alteration in antibiotic resistance from susceptibility to increased resistance. Highly sensitive Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium isolates from organic farm systems quickly acquired tetracycline resistance under antibiotic pressure in simulated farm soil environments within 2 weeks, with expression of antibiotic resistance-related genes that was significantly upregulated. Conversely, originally resistant S. Typhimurium isolates from conventional farm systems lost little of their resistance when transferred to environments without antibiotic pressure. Additionally, multidrug-resistant S. Typhimurium isolates genetically shared relevancy with pathogenic S. Typhimurium isolates, whereas susceptible isolates clustered with nonpathogenic strains. These results provide detailed discussion and explanation about the genetic alterations and simultaneous acquisition of antibiotic resistance in S. Typhimurium in agricultural environments.