Deciphering Potential Roles of Earthworms in Mitigation of Antibiotic Resistance in the Soils from Diverse Ecosystems

  20 May 2021

understanding of the earthworm gut microbiome and its interaction with the antibiotic resistome is still lacking. Here, we characterized the earthworm gut and soil microbiome and antibiotic resistome in natural and agricultural ecosystems at a national scale, and microcosm studies and field experiments were also employed to test the potential role of earthworms in dynamics of soil ARGs. The diversity and structure of bacterial communities were different between the earthworm gut and soil. A significant correlation between bacterial community dissimilarity and spatial distance between sites was identified in the earthworm gut. The earthworm gut consistently had lower ARGs than the surrounding soil. A significant reduction in the relative abundance of mobile genetic elements and dominant bacterial phylotypes that are the likely hosts of ARGs was observed in the earthworm gut compared to the surrounding soil, which might contribute to the decrease of ARGs in the earthworm gut. The microcosm studies and field experiments further confirmed that the presence of earthworms significantly reduced the number and abundance of ARGs in soils. Our study implies that earthworm-based bioremediation may be a method to reduce risks associated with the presence of ARGs in soils.

Further reading: ACS Publications
Author(s): Dong Zhu, Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Jian-Qiang Su, Jing Ding, Hu Li, Michael R. Gillings, Josep Penuelas, and Yong-Guan Zhu*
Clean Environment   Smart Innovations  


Unrestricted financial support kindly provided by

Antimicrobial Resistance Fighter Coalition

CDD VAULT Complexity Simplified

Technology Database

Display your AMR Technology, Product and Service

Suppliers and Users of Technologies, Products and Services benefit from CAPI.
CAPI (Continuous AMR Partnering Initiative) unites Suppliers and Users worldwide with the aim to add to the curbing of AMR.

Read more and make your own Technology Page >>
What is going on with AMR?
Stay tuned with remarkable global AMR news and developments!