Prevalence of opportunistic pathogens and anti-microbial resistance in urban aquaculture ponds

Md Javed Foysal, A. Q.M.Robiul Kawser, Sulav Indra Paul, Md Reaz Chaklader, Sanjay Kumar Gupta, Alfred Tay, Brett A. Neilan, Marthe Monique Gagnon, Ravi Fotedar, Md Mahbubur Rahman, Verlaine J. Timms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bacterial antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has emerged as a significant concern worldwide. The microbial community profile and potential AMR level in aquaculture ponds are often undervalued and attract less attention than other aquatic environments. We used amplicon and metagenomic shotgun sequencing to study microbial communities and AMR in six freshwater polyculture ponds in rural and urban areas of Bangladesh. Amplicon sequencing revealed different community structures between rural and urban ponds, with urban ponds having a higher bacterial diversity and opportunistic pathogens including Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, and Corynebacterium. Despite proteobacterial dominance, Firmicutes was the most interactive in the community network, especially in the urban ponds. Metagenomes showed that drug resistance was the most common type of AMR found, while metal resistance was only observed in urban ponds. AMR and metal resistance genes were found mainly in beta and gamma-proteobacteria in urban ponds, while AMR was found primarily in alpha-proteobacteria in rural ponds. We identified potential pathogens with a high profile of AMR and metal resistance in urban aquaculture ponds. As these ponds provide a significant source of protein for humans, our results raise significant concerns for the environmental sustainability of this food source and the dissemination of AMR into the food chain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number134661
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Early online date29 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 May 2024


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