ARGs are associated with BMRG-carrying bacteria and the co-selection potential of biocides and metals is specific towards certain antibiotics
Clinically important genera host the largest numbers of ARGs and BMRGs and those also have the highest co-selection potential
Bacteria isolated from human and domestic animal origins have the highest co-selection potential
Plasmids with co-selection potential tend to be conjugative and carry toxin-antitoxin systems
Mercury and QACs are potential co-selectors of ARGs on plasmids, however BMRGs are common on chromosomes and could still have indirect co-selection potential
14 percent of bacteria and more than 70% of the plasmids completely lacked resistance genes
This analysis was possible thanks to the BacMet database of antibacterial biocide and metal resistance genes, published about two years ago (2). The visualization of the plasmid co-occurence network we ended up with can be seen below. Note the strong connection between the mercury resistance mer operon and the antibiotic resistance genes to the right.
Pal C, Bengtsson-Palme J, Kristiansson E, Larsson DGJ: Co-occurrence of resistance genes to antibiotics, biocides and metals reveals novel insights into their co-selection potential. BMC Genomics, 16, 964 (2015). doi: 10.1186/s12864-015-2153-5[Paper link]
Pal C, Bengtsson-Palme J, Rensing C, Kristiansson E, Larsson DGJ: BacMet: Antibacterial Biocide and Metal Resistance Genes Database. Nucleic Acids Research, 42, D1, D737-D743 (2014). doi: 10.1093/nar/gkt1252[Paper link]
Bengtsson-Palme J, Alm Rosenblad M, Molin M, Blomberg A: Metagenomics reveals that detoxification systems are underrepresented in marine bacterial communities. BMC Genomics, 15, 749 (2014). doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-15-749[Paper link]
Giovannoni SJ, Cameron TJ, Temperton B: Implications of streamlining theory for microbial ecology. ISME Journal, 8, 1553-1565 (2014).