Investigating and Modeling the Regulation of Extracellular Antibiotic Resistance Gene Bioavailability by Naturally Occurring Nanoparticles.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Extracellular antibiotic resistance genes (eARGs) are widespread in the environment and can genetically transform bacteria. This work examined the role of environmentally relevant nanoparticles (NPs) in regulating eARG bioavailability. eARGs extracted from antibiotic-resistant B. subtilis were incubated with nonresistant recipient B. subtilis cells. In the mixture, particle type (either humic acid coated nanoparticles (HASNPs) or their micron-sized counterpart (HASPs)), DNase I concentration, and eARG type were systematically varied. Transformants were counted on selective media. Particles decreased bacterial growth and eARG bioavailability in systems without nuclease. When DNase I was present (≥5 μg/mL), particles increased transformation via chromosomal (but not plasmid-borne) eARGs. HASNPs increased transformation more than HASPs, indicating that the smaller nanoparticle with greater surface area per volume is more effective in increasing eARG bioavailability. These results were also modeled via particle aggregation theory, which represented eARG-bacteria interactions as transport leading to collision, followed by attachment. Using attachment efficiency as a fitting factor, the model predicted transformant concentrations within 35% of experimental data. These results confirm the ability of NPs to increase eARG bioavailability and suggest that particle aggregation theory may be a simplified and suitable framework to broadly predict eARG uptake.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Chowdhury, NN; Hicks, E; Wiesner, MR

Published Date

  • November 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 56 / 21

Start / End Page

  • 15044 - 15053

PubMed ID

  • 35853206

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9979080

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1520-5851

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0013-936X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1021/acs.est.2c02878


  • eng