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Impacts of Biocides and Environmental Factors on Conjugative Transfer of Plasmid-Encoded Resistance Genes


Funding programme / funding institution: Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung (AvH) Berlin - Deutschland

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Project description:

Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) plays an important role in the spread of antibiotic and biocide resistance genes. In addition, biocide exposure may lead to antibiotic resistance by mechanisms of cross-resistance (selection for genes encoding resistance to both, biocides and antibiotics) and co-resistance (selection of clones or mobile elements also carrying antibiotic resistance genes). The environmental stimulants of conjugative plasmid transfer in microbial communities are poorly understood. Within this project, Escherichia coli and Klebsiella isolates from meat production environments will be studied in-depth regarding the intra- and interspecies conjugative transfer of plasmid-encoded resistance genes within dual-species/isolate biofilms under biocide exposure. Conjugative transfer models will be established using cell counting and fluorescence-based detection in conjunction with transcriptomic and proteomic approaches combined with transmission electron microscopy to study the environmental factors that influence conjugation rates and their effects on the bacterial response at the molecular level. The specific objectives will be to a) assess the impact of biocides and environmental stresses on conjugative transfer frequencies; b) evaluate the impact of the sessile state on horizontal gene transfer rates within single- and dual-species biofilms; c) determine the response of donor and recipient cells to biocides which impact HGT.

Project partners

  • Western Delta University (WDU) Oghara - Nigeria




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