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Interaction of Microbes with Microplastics and Nanoplastics in the Agroecosystems—Impact on Antimicrobial Resistance

Authors: Jayashree Nath, Jayita De, Shantanu Sur, Pratik Banerjee

Abstract: Microplastics (MPs) and nanoplastics (NPs) are hotspots for the exchange of antimicro- bial resistance genes (ARGs) between different bacterial taxa in the environment. Propagation of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global public health issue that needs special attention concerning horizontal gene transfer (HGT) under micro-nano plastics (MNPs) pressure. Interactions between MNPs and microbes, or mere persistence of MNPs in the environment (either water or soil), influence microbial gene expressions, affecting autochthonous microbiomes, their resistomes, and the overall ecosystem. The adsorption of a range of co-contaminants on MNPs leads to the increased interaction of pollutants with microbes resulting in changes in AMR, virulence, toxin production, etc. However, accurately estimating the extent of MNP infestation in agroecosystems remains challenging. The main limitation in estimating the level of MNPs contamination in agroecosystems, surface and sub- surface waters, or sediments is the lack of standardized protocols for extraction of MPs and analytical detection methods from complex high organic content matrices. Nonetheless, recent advances in MPs detection from complex matrices with high organic matter content are highly promising. This review aims to provide an overview of relevant information available to date and summarize the already existing knowledge about the mechanisms of MNP-microbe interactions including the different factors with influence on HGT and AMR. In-depth knowledge of the enhanced ARGs propagation in the environment under the influence of MNPs could raise the needed awareness, about future consequences and emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria.

Keywords: Microplastics; Nanoplastics; Antimicrobial resistance; Horizontal gene transfer; Agroecosystems

Published in: Pathogens, to the Special Issue Viral Diseases, Bacterial Infections, and Antimicrobial Resistance, Volume 12, Issue 7, 29 June 2023, Pages 1-18 

Please find the full article here.

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