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Transmission Of Antibiotic Resistance At The Wildlife-Livestock Interface

Abstract: Transmission of antibiotic resistance at the wildlife-livestock interface

Antibiotic-resistant microorganisms (ARMs) are widespread in natural environments, animals (wildlife and livestock), and humans, which has reduced our capacity to control life threatening infectious disease. Yet, little is known about their transmission pathways, especially at the wildlife-livestock interface. This study investigated the potential transmission of ARMs and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) between cattle and wildlife by comparing gut microbiota and ARG profiles of feral swine (Sus scrofa), coyotes (Canis latrans), cattle (Bos taurus), and environmental microbiota. Unexpectedly, wild animals harbored more abundant ARMs and ARGs compared to grazing cattle. Gut microbiota of cattle was significantly more similar to that of feral swine captured within the cattle grazing area where the home range of both species overlapped substantially. In addition, ARMs against medically important antibiotics were more prevalent in wildlife than grazing cattle, suggesting that wildlife could be a source of ARMs colonization in livestock.

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