Antibiotic resistome in groundwater and its association with mountain springs and river

Fu Yi Huang, Yi Zhao, Roy Neilson, Xin Yuan Zhou, Hu Li, Lei Ding, Shu Yi Dan Zhou (Lead / Corresponding author), Jian Qiang Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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The distribution of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in water sources potentially threatens drinking water safety. However, the sources of antibiotic resistome in groundwater are still under-investigated. Here, we evaluated the profiles of antibiotic resistome in peri-urban groundwater and its associated water sources (river and mountain spring) to characterize the antibiotic resistome from natural water sources on groundwater resistome. A total of 261 antibiotic resistome were detected in groundwater, mountain spring, and river samples. The relative abundances of ARGs and mobile genetic elements (MGEs) were significantly higher in the river samples than in spring water and groundwater samples. The resistome profiles were similar between groundwater and spring water but differed from the river samples. According to source tracking results, the groundwater resistome was likely to be derived from springs (28.0%−50.0%) and rivers (28.6%−48.6%), which share the same trend for the source tracking of bacterial communities. Bacterial α-diversity, bacterial β-diversity, and MGEs directly or indirectly affected the ARGs in groundwater samples. Although the abundance of groundwater resistome was not elevated by river and spring water, groundwater resistomes were diverse and may be derived from both river and spring water. We highlight the importance of groundwater resistome and its association with potential water sources, providing a better understanding and basis for the effective control of the ARG proliferation and dissemination in groundwater from exogenous water bodies in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114603
Number of pages9
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Early online date2 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • ARGs
  • Hyporheic zone
  • Peri-urban
  • Source tracking
  • Water source

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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