Systematic In Silico Assessment of Antimicrobial Resistance Dissemination across the Global Plasmidome

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The emergence of pathogenic strains resistant to multiple antimicrobials is a pressing problem in modern healthcare. Antimicrobial resistance is mediated primarily by dissemination of resistance determinants via horizontal gene transfer. The dissemination of some resistance genes has been well documented, but few studies have analyzed the patterns underpinning the dissemination of antimicrobial resistance genes. Analyzing the %GC content of plasmid-borne antimicrobial resistance genes relative to their host genome %GC content provides a means to efficiently detect and quantify dissemination of antimicrobial resistance genes. In this work we automate %GC content analysis to perform a comprehensive analysis of known antimicrobial resistance genes in publicly available plasmid sequences. We find that the degree to which antimicrobial resistance genes are disseminated depends primarily on the resistance mechanism. Our analysis identifies conjugative plasmids as primary dissemination vectors and indicates that most broadly disseminated genes have spread from single genomic backgrounds. We show that resistance dissemination profiles vary greatly among antimicrobials, oftentimes reflecting stewardship measures. Our findings establish %GC content analysis as a powerful, intuitive and scalable method to monitor the dissemination of resistance determinants using publicly available sequence data.
Idioma originalEnglish
Número d’article281
Nombre de pàgines18
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - de febr. 2023


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