prepared by Ulrike Löber

September digest features how artificial sweeteners stimulate horizontal gene transfer of extracellular antibiotic resistance genes; soil plastispheres as hotpots of antibiotic resistance genes and potential pathogens; a novel vancomycin resistance gene cluster in Enterococcus faecium; elevated levels of AMR in groundwater during treated wastewater irrigation associated with infiltration and accumulation of antibiotic residues, and many more. Enjoy!

EMBARK annual meeting

We had our 3rd annual EMBARK meeting on September 28/29. We had some fruitful discussions. We took a look back to the last two years, which were productive, but even under compulsion of the COVID pandemic. We were looking forward to continuing our teamwork. We found people with fantastic expertise, synergizing exceptionally well, and having a great team spirit. Social online activities rounded up this event, while we look forward to seeing each other again in person next year.


From the soil to the clinic: the impact of microbial secondary metabolites on antibiotic tolerance and resistance – Elena K. Perry, Lucas A. Meirelles, Dianne K. Newman – Nature Reviews Microbiology

ARGuing the case for (or against) probiotics – Sondra Turjeman & Omry Koren – Trends in Microbiology

Design principles of collateral sensitivity-based dosing strategies – Linda B. S. Aulin, Apostolos Liakopoulos, Piet H. van der Graaf, Daniel E. Rozen, J. G. Coen van Hasselt – Nature Communications

*Artificial sweeteners stimulate horizontal transfer of extracellular antibiotic resistance genes through natural transformation – Zhigang Yu, Yue Wang, Ian R. Henderson & Jianhua Guo – The ISME Journal
Interesting paper about artificial sweeteners (saccharin, sucralose, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium) promoting transfer of ARGs via natural transformation in Acinetobacter baylyi. The phenomenon were validated by an in vitro transformation model (Model V) using mice faecal bacteria as the recipient.

Water environment

*Elevated levels of antibiotic resistance in groundwater during treated wastewater irrigation associated with infiltration and accumulation of antibiotic residuesIoannis D. Kampouris, Nikiforos Alygizakisb, Uli Klümper, Shelesh Agrawal, Susanne Lackner, Damiano Cacace, Steffen Kunze, Nikolaos S.Thomaidis, Jaroslav Slobdonik, Thomas U. Berendonk – Journal of Hazardous Materials
Our team members from Dresden published an article about bacterial abundances and antibiotics residues in ground water. The team around Thomas U. Berendonk could show that bacterial abundance did not increase due to treated wastewater irrigation. At each time-point, three samples each were taken from three groundwater wells (n = 9) located in the field at a depth of 10 m. Samples were collected from the facilities of Braunschweig Wastewater Association (Wendeburg, Lower Saxony, Germany).

Impact of biosolids amendment and wastewater effluent irrigation on enteric antibiotic-resistant bacteria – a greenhouse study – Catherine Maysa, Gabriel L.Garza, Joy Waite-Cusic, Tyler S. Radniecki, Tala Nava-Daneshmand – Water Research

Tracing Antibiotic Resistance Genes along the Irrigation Water Chain to Chive: Does Tap or Surface Water Make a Difference? – Maria-Theresia Gekenidis, Fiona Walsh and David Drissner – MDPI

Quantifying and predicting antimicrobials and antimicrobial resistance genes in waterbodies through a holistic approach: a study in Minnesota, United States – Irene Bueno, Amanda Beaudoin, William A. Arnold, Taegyu Kim, Lara E. Frankson, Timothy M. LaPara, Kaushi Kanankege, Kristine H. Wammer, Randall S. Singer – Scientific Reports

Soil environment

*Soil plastispheres as hotpots of antibiotic resistance genes and potential pathogens – Dong Zhu, Jun Ma, Gang Li, Matthias C. Rillig, Yong-Guan Zhu – The ISME Journal

Case reports

Novel vancomycin resistance gene cluster in Enterococcus faecium ST1486, Belgium, June 2021 – Basil Britto Xavier, Jasmine Coppens, Sien De Koster, Sahaya Glingston Rajakani, Sam Van Goethem, Samy Mzougui, Ahalieyah Anantharajah, Christine Lammens, Katherine Loens, Youri Glupczynski, Herman Goossens, Veerle Matheeussen – Eurosurveillance

Animal experiments

Dynamics of the fecal microbiome and antimicrobial resistome in commercial piglets during the weaning period – Prapat Suriyaphol, Jimmy Ka Ho Chiu, Nathamon Yimpring, Paiboon Tunsagool, Wuttichai Mhuantong, Rungtip Chuanchuen, Irina Bessarab, Rohan B. H. Williams, Rick Twee-Hee Ong, Gunnaporn Suriyaphol – Scientific Reports

Inappropriate use of antibiotics exacerbates inflammation through OMV-induced pyroptosis in MDR Klebsiella pneumoniae infection – Chao Ye, Weiran Li, Ying Yang, Qingwen Liu, Sijing Li, Peng Zheng, Xiao Zheng, Ye Zhang, Jinrong He, Yongjun Chen, Liangqun Hua, Zhongqian Yang, Duo Li, Zhaoling Ren, Ying Yang, Jialong Qi, Weiwei Huang, Yanbing Ma – Cell Reports

High-risk environments for transmission

Multidrug-Resistant Lineage of Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli ST182 With Serotype O169:H41 in Airline Waste – Veronica M. Jarocki, Stefanie Heß, Kay Anantanawat, Thomas U. Berendonk, Steven P. Djordjevic – Frontiers in Microbiology


BiG-MAP: an Automated Pipeline To Profile Metabolic Gene Cluster Abundance and Expression in Microbiomes – Victória Pascal Andreu, Hannah E. Augustijn, Koen van den Berg, Justin J. J. van der Hooft, Michael A. Fischbach, Marnix H. Medema – mSystems

PlasmidHostFinder: Prediction of plasmid hosts using random forest – Derya Aytan-Aktug, Philip T.L.C. Clausen, Judit Szarvas, Patrick Munk, Saria Otani, Marcus Nguyen, James J. Davis, Ole Lund , Frank M. Aarestrup – bioRxiv



The AMR Studio – Ep 32: Anna Dumitriu & bioart. Access to antibiotics in high-income countries – Uppsala Antibiotic Center

Webinars & conferences

Autumn Resistomap webinars: The science and application of antibiotic resistance monitoring (recordings available here)

Autumn EMBARK webinars: We would like to invite you for the 6th #EMBARK2021 webinar with Monika Dolejska and Victor Hugo Jarquin Diaz!