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Factors associated with plasmid antibiotic resistance gene carriage revealed using large-scale multivariable analysis

Orlek, Alex; Anjum, Muna F; Mather, Alison E; Stoesser, Nicole; Walker, Ann; (2023) Factors associated with plasmid antibiotic resistance gene carriage revealed using large-scale multivariable analysis. Scientific Reports , 13 , Article 2500. 10.1038/s41598-023-29530-y. Green open access

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Abstract

Plasmids are major vectors of bacterial antibiotic resistance, but understanding of factors associated with plasmid antibiotic resistance gene (ARG) carriage is limited. We curated > 14,000 publicly available plasmid genomes and associated metadata. Duplicate and replicate plasmids were excluded; where possible, sample metadata was validated externally (BacDive database). Using Generalised Additive Models (GAMs) we assessed the influence of 12 biotic/abiotic factors (e.g. plasmid genetic factors, isolation source, collection date) on ARG carriage, modelled as a binary outcome. Separate GAMs were built for 10 major ARG types. Multivariable analysis indicated that plasmid ARG carriage patterns across time (collection years), isolation sources (human/livestock) and host bacterial taxa were consistent with antibiotic selection pressure as a driver of plasmid-mediated antibiotic resistance. Only 0.42% livestock plasmids carried carbapenem resistance (compared with 12% human plasmids); conversely, tetracycline resistance was enriched in livestock vs human plasmids, reflecting known prescribing practices. Interpreting results using a timeline of ARG type acquisition (determined by literature review) yielded additional novel insights. More recently acquired ARG types (e.g. colistin and carbapenem) showed increases in plasmid carriage during the date range analysed (1994–2019), potentially reflecting recent onset of selection pressure; they also co-occurred less commonly with ARGs of other types, and virulence genes. Overall, this suggests that following acquisition, plasmid ARGs tend to accumulate under antibiotic selection pressure and co-associate with other adaptive genes (other ARG types, virulence genes), potentially re-enforcing plasmid ARG carriage through co-selection.

Type: Article
Title: Factors associated with plasmid antibiotic resistance gene carriage revealed using large-scale multivariable analysis
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-29530-y
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-29530-y
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology > MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10164598
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