The antibiotic resistome of swine manure is significantly altered by association with the Musca domestica larvae gut microbiome. Academic Article uri icon


  • The overuse of antibiotics as veterinary feed additives is potentially contributing to a significant reservoir of antibiotic resistance in agricultural farmlands via the application of antibiotic-contaminated manure. Vermicomposting of swine manure using housefly larvae is a promising biotechnology for waste reduction and control of antibiotic pollution. To determine how vermicomposting influences antibiotic resistance traits in swine manure, we explored the resistome and associated bacterial community dynamics during larvae gut transit over 6 days of treatment. In total, 94 out of 158 antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) were significantly attenuated (by 85%), while 23 were significantly enriched (3.9-fold) following vermicomposting. The manure-borne bacterial community showed a decrease in the relative abundance of Bacteroidetes, and an increase in Proteobacteria, specifically Ignatzschineria, following gut transit. ARG attenuation was significantly correlated with changes in microbial community succession, especially reduction in Clostridiales and Bacteroidales. Six genomes were assembled from the manure, vermicompost (final product) and gut samples, including Pseudomonas, Providencia, Enterococcus, Bacteroides and Alcanivorax. Transposon-linked ARGs were more abundant in gut-associated bacteria compared with those from manure and vermicompost. Further, ARG-transposon gene cassettes had a high degree of synteny between metagenomic assemblies from gut and vermicompost samples, highlighting the significant contribution of gut microbiota through horizontal gene transfer to the resistome of vermicompost. In conclusion, the larvae gut microbiome significantly influences manure-borne community succession and the antibiotic resistome during animal manure processing.

publication date

  • January 2017