Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Environmental antimicrobial resistance is associated with faecal pollution in Central Thailand’s coastal aquaculture region

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kishor AcharyaORCiD, Professor David GrahamORCiD, Professor David WernerORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


We assessed antimicrobial resistance (AMR) potential to seven major classes of antibiotics in Central Thailand’s coastal aquaculture region using high-throughput qPCR targeting 295 antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and mobile genetic elements (MGEs). In parallel, we used MinION next generation sequencing (NGS) of 16S rRNA gene amplicons, qPCR of faecal pollution makers, and conventional plate count methods for the comprehensive characterization of environmental microbiomes. We tested the hypothesis that aquaculture increases environmental AMR by comparing ARGs and MGEs in water and sediment samples from five aquaculture sites and their associated canals. There was no evidence from the ARG and MGE data that aquaculture is a major driver of environmental AMR in Central Thailand. Instead, the highest relative prevalence of resistance traits was found in Hua Krabue canal water influenced by urban pollution from Bangkok at the inland edge of the coastal aquaculture region. The sum of ARGs and MGEs, relative to 16S rRNA genes used as markers for overall bacterial abundance, was between 0.495 ± 0.011 and 0.498 ± 0.013 in Hua Krabue canal water, compared with at most 0.132 ± 0.005 in all the other environmental samples. Corresponding patterns were observed for most faecal pollution markers, which were also elevated in Hua Krabue canal water.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Thongsamer T, Neamchan R, Blackburn A, Acharya K, Sutheeworapong S, Tirachulee B, Pattanachan P, Vinitnantharat S, Zhou XY, Su JQ, Zhu YG, Graham DW, Werner D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Hazardous Materials

Year: 2021

Volume: 416

Pages: 125718

Print publication date: 15/08/2021

Online publication date: 23/03/2021

Acceptance date: 19/03/2021

Date deposited: 13/04/2021

ISSN (electronic): 0304-3894

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.125718


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric