AMR November, 2022

prepared by Faina Tskhay

The EMBARK team is happy and proud to announce that Dr Johan Bengtsson-Palme, coordinator of the EMBARK project, became a laureate of the Einhorn SIGHT award. Congratulations!

The November AMR Digest delivers some fresh and crisp publications from the world of antibiotic resistance. This time we collected publications featuring the AMR evolution, AMR in water and soil, advances of metagenomics in tracking AMR and much more! Enjoy your reading!


Special issue of Environmental Science and Technology Journal – AMR in the Environment: Informing Policy and Practice to Prevent the Spread

The synthesis report “Routes and reservoirs of AMR-determinants & One Health AMR-surveillance” of the Swiss National Research Program 72 “Antimicrobial Resistance”
This report summarizes the research of 18 projects in the field of antibiotic resistance over a 5-year period. Based on the findings and observations, the authors suggest key recommendations for action to restrict the spread of AMR.


Molecular mechanisms of antibiotic resistance revisited – Elizabeth M. Darby – Natural Reviews Microbiology
In this article, the authors provide an overview of molecular mechanisms and strategies that bacteria apply to develop resistance to antimicrobials. They give insights into the role of efflux systems in decreased antibiotic susceptibility and their synergetic interaction with other resistance mechanisms. Understanding of molecular mechanisms is essential to overcome antimicrobial resistance and can be used, for example, for developing so-called antibiotic resistance breakers (ARBs) – compounds that can restore antibiotic activity by disrupting or inhibiting a specific resistance mechanism.

Does Environmental Exposure to Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Product Residues Result in the Selection of Antimicrobial-Resistant Microorganisms, and is this Important in Terms of Human Health Outcomes? – Isobel C. Stanton, Holly J. Tipper, Kevin Chau, Uli Klümper, Jessica Subirats, Aimee K. Murray – Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
This review comprehensively compiles laboratory studies, and field based research evidence regarding the effects of pharmaceutical and personal care products on selection and horizontal gene transfer of antimicrobial resistance in multiple environments. It summarizes these studies and points out under which scenarios the promotion of AMR by PPCPs in the environment is and will be relevant to human health.


Nearly Complete Genome Sequence of Raoultella ornithinolytica Strain MQB_Silv_108, Carrying an Uncommon Extended-Spectrum-β-Lactamase-like blaBEL Gene – Marcos Quintela-Baluja – Microbiology Resource Announcements

Report and Comparative Genomics of an NDM-5-Producing Escherichia coli in a Portuguese Hospital: Complex Class 1 Integrons as Important Players in blaNDM Spread – Rafael D. S. Tavares – Microorganisms

Gut microbiota

Noise reduction strategies in metagenomic chromosome confirmation capture to link antibiotic resistance genes to microbial hosts – Gregory E. McCallum – bioRxiv

Enterotoxin tilimycin from gut-resident Klebsiella promotes mutational evolution and antibiotic resistance in mice – Sabine Kienesberger – Nature Microbiology

Sharing Antimicrobial Resistance Genes between Humans and Food Animals – Huiluo Cao – mSystems

Gut microbiome dysbiosis in antibiotic-treated COVID-19 patients is associated with microbial translocation and bacteremia – Lucie Bernard-Raichon – Nature Communications

Characterization of antibiotic-resistance traits in Akkermansia muciniphila strains of human origin – Rossella Filardi – Scientific Reports

AMR evolution

Within-patient evolution of plasmid-mediated antimicrobial resistance – Javier DelaFuente – Nature Ecology and Evolution
This five-year study aimed at tracking AMR evolution in vivo in patients. By analyzing 224 poxA-48-carrying Enterobacteria isolated from 9000 patients, DelaFuente et al. were able to identify 35 variants of a poxA-48 plasmid. They monitored 121 patients for a potential case of within-patient AMR evolution and identified three instances in which the same bacterial host carried different plasmid variants over the treatment period. The authors compared plasmid fitness, susceptibility to antibiotics, plasmid copy number and HGT rates of the new plasmids and ancestral plasmids. According to their findings, the authors concluded that within-patient plasmid-mediated AMR requires an interplay between resistance levels and bacterial fitness.

Plasmid evolution in the clinic – Rosanna C. T. Wright & Michael A. Brockhurst – Nature Ecology and Evolution

Exposure to environmental stress decreases the resistance of river microbial communities towards invasion by antimicrobial-resistant bacteria – Kenyum Bagra, Xavier Bellanger, Christophe Merlin, Gargi Singh, Thomas Ulrich Berendonk, Uli Klümper – bioRxiv
In this preprint the authors utilize artificial river flume systems to explore the invasion dynamics of a model resistant strain (E. coli) into river microbial communities in the presence and absence of a co-introduced environmental stressor. Despite an initially successful introduction of E. coli into all the biofilms, independent of the imposed stress, over time the invader perished in absence of stress. However, under stress conditions the invading strain successfully established and proliferated in the biofilms. Noteworthy, the increased establishment success of the invader coincided with a loss in microbial community diversity under stress conditions, likely due to additional niche space becoming available for the invader.

Mobile genetic elements in Acinetobacter antibiotic-resistance acquisition and dissemination – Hannah R. Noel – Annals of the New York Academy of Science

Electrochemical disinfection may increase the spread of antibiotic resistance genes by promoting conjugal plasmid transfer – Hua Li – Science of The Total Environment

IncP-type plasmids carrying genes for antibiotic resistance or for aromatic compound degradation are prevalent in sequenced Aromatoleum and Thauera strains – Hao-Yu Lo – Environmental Microbiology

Reductive Stress Boosts the Horizontal Transfer of Plasmid-Borne Antibiotic Resistance Genes: The Neglected Side of the Intracellular Redox Spectrum – Haining Huang – Environmental Science & Technology

Novel Plasmid Carrying Mobile Colistin Resistance Gene mcr-4.3 and Mercury Resistance Genes in Shewanella baltica: Insights into Mobilization of mcr-4.3 in Shewanella Species – Nachiket P. Marathe – Microbiology Spectrum

Defense systems are pervasive across chromosomally integrated mobile genetic elements and are inversely correlated to virulence and antimicrobial resistance – João Botelho – bioRxiv


Concordance between Antimicrobial Resistance Phenotype and Genotype of Staphylococcus pseudintermedius from Healthy Dogs – Joaquim Viñes – Antibiotics

Genomic Insights into the Mobilome and Resistome of Sentinel Microorganisms Originating from Farms of Two Different Swine Production System – Oscar Mencía-Ares – Microbiology Spectrum

More than an anthropogenic phenomenon: Antimicrobial resistance in ungulates from natural and agricultural environments – Lee J. Pinnell – Science of the Total Environment

Viruses and phages

Quantification and fate of plasmid-specific bacteriophages in wastewater: Beyond the F-coliphages – Zhiming He – Water Research


Dissemination of antibiotic resistance in antibiotic-free recirculating aquaculture systemsIoannis Kampouris, Uli Klümper, Lena Kramer, Henning Sorum, Helmut Wedekind, Thomas U. Berendonk – Journal of Hazardous Materials Advances

Explaining the resistomes in a megacity’s water supply catchment: Roles of microbial assembly-dominant taxa, niched environments and pathogenic bacteria – Dong Wu – Water Research

The global groundwater resistome: core ARGs and their dynamics – an in silico re-analysis of publicly available groundwater metagenomesIoannis D. Kampouris, Thomas U. Berendonk, Johan Bengtsson-Palme, Uli Klümper – bioRxiv

Wastewater Surveillance of Antibiotic-Resistant bacterial pathogens: a Systematic Review – Ananda Tiwari – Frontiers in Microbiology

Nanopore-based long-read metagenomics uncover the resistome intrusion by antibiotic-resistant bacteria from treated wastewater in receiving water body – Ziqi Wu – Water Research

Mobilome-driven segregation of the resistome in biological wastewater treatment – Laura de Nies – eLife


Plants select antibiotic resistome in rhizosphere in early stage – Yitian Yua – Science of the Total Environment

Global biogeography and projection of soil antibiotic resistance genes – Dongsheng Zheng – Science Advances

Metagenomics, Bioinformatics

Functional and Sequence-Specific Screening Protocols for the Detection of Novel Antimicrobial Resistance Genes in Metagenomic DNA – Supathep Tansirichaiya – Methods in Molecular Biology

In Silico Characterization of blaNDM-Harboring Conjugative Plasmids in Acinetobacter Species – Biao Tang – Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Target-enriched long-read sequencing (TELSeq) contextualizes antimicrobial resistance genes in metagenomes – Ilya B. Slizovskiy – Microbiome

Multiomics Characterization of the Canada Goose Fecal Microbiome Reveals Selective Efficacy of Simulated Metagenomes – Joshua C. Gil, Sarah M. Hird – Microbiology Spectrum

MEGARes and AMR++, v3.0: an updated comprehensive database of antimicrobial resistance determinants and an improved software pipeline for classification using high-throughput sequencing – Nathalie Bonin – Nucleic Acids Research

Three Distinct Annotation Platforms Differ in Detection of Antimicrobial Resistance Genes in Long-Read, Short-Read, and Hybrid Sequences Derived from Total Genomic DNA or from Purified Plasmid DNA – Grazieli Maboni – Antibiotics


“Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment” – UNFAO, UNEP, WHO, WOAH – Webinar Series.

EMBARK coordinator receives Global Health award

EMBARK coordinator Johan Bengtsson-Palme has been selected as the 2022 recipient of the Einhorn SIGHT awardThe award, which is granted by the Swedish Institute for Global Health Transformation and the Einhorn Family Foundation, recognizes outstanding global health research work by young researchers in the context of low- and middle-income countries. Johan was selected motivated by “outstanding research and development of tools to limit the global challenge of infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance”. Largely, these results have come out of the work performed in the EMBARK program.

Updated day for the December webinar

We unfortunately had to again reschedule the webinar with Joakim Larsson, this time to December 15 (same time).

The two remaining webinars this year will be:

Nov 9, 14:00 UTC+2
Iruka Okeke – Genomic surveillance of human-invasive Salmonella in Nigeria
Miranda Wallace – Understanding and predicting resistance in Bacteroides fragilis group bacteria using clinical and modern genomics tools
[Register here]

Dec 15, 14:00 UTC+2
Joakim Larsson – TBA
[Register here]

Updated webinar times

We have two more EMBARK Webinars to go before the end of the year. For the second one with Joakim Larsson we have updated the date to December 14. Make a note in your calendars!

Nov 9, 14:00 UTC+2
Iruka Okeke – Genomic surveillance of human-invasive Salmonella in Nigeria
Miranda Wallace – Understanding and predicting resistance in Bacteroides fragilis group bacteria using clinical and modern genomics tools
[Register here]

Dec 14, 14:00 UTC+2
Joakim Larsson – TBA
[Register here]


prepared by Marcus Wenne

In September, the EMBARK team got together to:
1. discuss current and future AMR research efforts and
2. have fun!!

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere every day is becoming darker and colder when we are steadily approaching winter. It is therefore extra important to illuminate your mind with interesting research and get that warm feeling in your body when reading a well written and structured paper. This is hopefully the feeling you will get when reading our October AMR digest. It touches the topics of evolution, the release of new databases, biofilms, wastewater and so much more. If you are from the Southern Hemisphere, you are of course equally welcome to take part of this interesting collection of papers!

Predicting selection for antimicrobial resistance in UK wastewater and aquatic environments: Ciprofloxacin poses a significant risk – April Hayes – Environment International

Microbiome and resistome dynamics along a sewage-effluent-reservoir continuum underline the role of natural attenuation in effluent receiving reservoirs – Inês Leão, Leron Khalifa, Nicolas Gallois, Ivone Vaz-Moreira, Uli Klümper, Daniel Youdkes, Shaked Palmony, Lotan Dagai, Thomas U. Berendonk, Christophe Merlin, Célia M. Manaia, Eddie Cytryn – bioRxiv

New methods, tools or approaches
Evaluation of FEAST for metagenomics-based source tracking of antibiotic resistance genes – Jinping Chen – Journal of Hazardous Materials

Determination and quantification of microbial communities and antimicrobial resistance on food through host DNA-depleted metagenomics – Samuel J Bloomfield – Food Microbiology

Quantification of the mobility potential of antibiotic resistance genes through multiplexed ddPCR linkage analysis – Magali de la Cruz Barron, David Kneis, Alan Xavier Elena, Kenyum Bagra, Thomas U. Berendonk, Uli Klümper – bioRxiv

Metagenomic insights into taxonomic, functional diversity and inhibitors of microbial biofilms – Madangchanok Imchen – Microbiological Research

Biofilm antimicrobial susceptibility through an experimental evolutionary lens – Tom Coenye – Biofilms and Microbes

Databases & resources

*ResFinderFG v2.0: a database of antibiotic resistance genes obtained by functional metagenomics – Rémi Gschwind – bioRxiv
A bioinformatic analysis is not better than the database and tools you base it on. Here Rémi
Gschwind et al. describes a new and updated version of ResFinderFG, version 2.0. According
to the authors most genes in antibiotic resistance gene databases mostly originate from
culturable and pathogenic bacteria. ResfinderFG 2.0 is instead a database based on a
literature search on studies identifying resistance genes using functional metagenomics.
This means that there is a reduced bias in the ResFinderFG v.2.0 database towards
culturable pathogens.

Ab-AMR: A Comprehensive Repository of Acinetobacter baumannii to Understand the Molecular Landscape of Antimicrobial Resistance – Tina Sharma – bioRxiv

CARD 2023: expanded curation, support for machine learning, and resistome prediction at the Comprehensive Antibiotic Resistance Database – Brian P Alcock – Nucleic Acids Research

*A curated data resource of 214K metagenomes for characterization of the global antimicrobial resistome – Hannah-Marie Martiny – PLOS BIOLOGY
Large scale metagenomic screenings of the worlds entire catalogue of metagenomic data
could potentially reveal interesting global and local patterns of antibiotic resistance.
Undertaking such a task is however way to computer intensive for most research groups to
undertake. Luckily, Hannah-Marie Martiny et al. have already undertaken this task. In this
paper they present a publicly available resource of antibiotic resistance gene abundance
based on 442 Tbp of sequencing reads from 214,095 metagenomic samples from the
European Nucleotide Archive.

Fig 4. Composition of reads assigned to ARGs from different resistance classes grouped by sampling origin.


Time for Some Group Therapy: Update on Identification, Antimicrobial Resistance, Taxonomy, and Clinical Significance of the Bacteroides fragilis Group – Sophonie Jean – Journal of Clinical Microbiology

Tackling AMR from a multidisciplinary perspective: a primer from education and psychology – Alicia Calvo‑Villamañán – International Microbiology

Machine learning in predicting antimicrobial resistance: a systematic review and meta-analysis – Rui Tang – International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents

A bottom-up view of antimicrobial resistance transmission in developing countries – Odion O. Ikhimiukor – Nature Microbiology

Phage-Plasmids Spread Antibiotic Resistance Genes through Infection and Lysogenic Conversion – Eugen Pfeifer – mBio

New antibiotics
Small Molecule Antibiotics Inhibit Distinct Stages of Bacterial Outer Membrane Protein Assembly – Janine H Peterson – mBio

Ring-fused 2-pyridones effective against multidrug-resistant Gram-positive pathogens and synergistic with standard-of-care antibiotics – Taylor M Nye – PNAS

Clinical studies

Oropharyngeal and intestinal concentrations of opportunistic pathogens are independently associated with death of SARS‑CoV‑2 critically ill adults – Juliette Patrier, Khanh Villageois‑Tran, Piotr Szychowiak, Stéphane Ruckly, Rémi Gschwind, Paul‑Henri Wicky, Signara Gueye, Laurence Armand‑Lefevre, Mehdi Marzouk, Romain Sonneville, Lila Bouadma, Marie Petitjean, Fariza Lamara, Etienne de Montmollin, Jean‑Francois Timsit, Etienne Ruppé and The French COVID Cohort Study Group – Critical Care

Genomic characterisation of multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Acinetobacter baumannii in two intensive care units in Hanoi, Viet Nam: a prospective observational cohort study – Leah W Roberts – Lancet Microbe

*The evolution of spectrum in antibiotics and bacteriocins – Jacob D Palmer and Kevin R
Foster – PNAS
An important weapon in microbial competition is the production of antibiotics. But when is
it preferential for a microbial population to produce wide or narrow spectrum antibiotics?
In this paper Jacob D Palmer and Kevin R Foster have used an evolutionary model approach
in an attempt to shed light on this question.

Antibiotics in the environment
Deciphering chloramphenicol biotransformation mechanisms and microbial interactions via integrated multi‑omics and cultivation‑dependent approaches – Jiayu Zhang, Xiaoyan Li, Uli Klümper, Huaxin Lei, Thomas U. Berendonk, Fangliang Guo, Ke Yu, Chao Yang & Bing Li – Microbiome

Antibiotic resistance mechanisms
L-Form Switching in Escherichia coli as a Common b-Lactam Resistance Mechanism – Aleksandra P Fabijan – Microbiology Spectrum

Antibiotic usage
Factors influencing usage of antimicrobial drugs among pastoralists in Kenya – Dennis N Makau – Tropical Animal Health and Production

Active antibiotic resistome in soils unraveled by single-cell isotope probing and targeted metagenomics – Hong-Zhe Li – PNAS

Anthropogenic impact
Leave No Trace? Ecological and anthropogenic determinants of antibiotic resistant bacteria in a recreational alpine environment – Laura C Scott – Environmental Research

Microbiology Lab Pod September 2022 Pod: Environmental Antibiotic Resistance – Johan Bengtsson-Palme lab

Vaccination as a strategy to combat antimicrobial resistance – Organised by the (CSA) DESIGN One Health AMR, together with MRC, BactiVac