Distinct climatic regions drive antibiotic resistance genes dynamics across public parks and pristine soil ecosystems

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To address the global concern of antibiotic resistance, a one-health concept is considered necessary that recognizes the interdependency between humans, animals and the environment, and acknowledges that each of these factors contributes to the evolution and rapid bloom of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). We implemented a GeoChip 5.0 strategy to examine the wide-spectrum profile of ARGs in the soil of urban parks and reference forests across three distinct climatic regions: Boreal (Lathi, Finland), Temperate (Baltimore, USA), and Tropical (Singapore). ARGs encoding multidrug resistance (MRGs) were among the most abundant, accounting for 90% of all ARGs detected. MRGs include MFS, MATE, Mex, SMR and ABC, which are involved in the transportation/efflux of multiple antibiotics. Multivariate analysis revealed that the ARG profile tends to be partitioned separately in urban parks and climatic regions. In addition, we opted to examine the impact of plant functional type (recalcitrant and labile tree litter, lawn) on ARGs. There was no significant influence of vegetation type on ARGs except in the tropical region, where its impact was evident as compared with boreal and temperate regions. More interestingly, the majority of ARGs were detected to have a higher relative abundance in the tropical region as compared to the boreal and temperate regions. Regional characteristics of the tropical area likely affects ARGs and the ARG-host profile, thereby boosting soil microbial abundances. Additionally, MFS, Mex, B_lactamase_A, vgb, ABC, Van, fosb, ABC_ multi, Tet and Mate_antibiotic were considerably more abundant in old parks as compared with young parks across the three climatic regions. Nevertheless, urban parks harboured a significantly higher abundance of ARGs than forests. Our study presents evidence of ARGs in varied climatic regions and provides valuable new insights in our understanding of ARGs in human-dominated environments as well as their prevalence in pristine ecosystems.

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Journal of Cleaner Production



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