Long-term seawall barriers lead to the formation of an urban coastal lagoon with increased antibiotic resistome

Shu-Yi-Dan Zhou, Kai Yang, Roy Neilson, Hu Li, Hong-Zhe Li, Yan-Yan Zhou, Juxiu Liu, Jian-Qiang Su, Fu-Yi Huang (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Urbanization has increased the spread of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) impacting urban aquatic ecosystems and threatening human health. However, an overview of the antibiotic resistome in artificial coastal lagoons formed by coastal seawall construction is unclear. This study investigated the resistome of sediment in a coastal lagoon, established for over 60 years and found that the composition of the resistome in the lagoon sediments associated with the seawall significantly differed from that of marine sediment external to the seawall. Moreover, the diversity, number, relative abundance, and absolute abundance of the antibiotic resistome in the lagoon sediments were significantly higher compared to marine sediment. Network analyses revealed that more co-occurrences were found in lagoon sediment between bacterial communities, ARGs and mobile genetic elements (MGEs) than in marine sediments, suggesting that bacteria in lagoon sediments may be associated with multiple antibiotic resistances. Random forest and structural equation models showed that an increase in the absolute abundance of MGEs had a concomitant effect on the absolute abundance and diversity of ARGs, whereas increasing salinity decreased the absolute abundance of ARGs. This study provides a basis to assess the risk of resistome diffusion and persistence in an artificial coastal lagoon.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119721
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Early online date3 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • ARGs
  • Microbiome
  • Network analysis
  • Sediment
  • Urbanization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Environmental Engineering


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