Diversity of Antibiotic Resistance genes and Transfer Elements-Quantitative Monitoring (DARTE-QM): a method for detection of antimicrobial resistance in environmental samples
Effective monitoring of antibiotic resistance genes and their dissemination in environmental ecosystems has been hindered by the cost and efficiency of methods available for the task. We developed a method entitled the Diversity of Antibiotic Resistance genes and Transfer Elements-Quantitative Monitoring (DARTE-QM), a system implementing high-throughput sequencing to simultaneously sequence thousands of antibiotic resistant genes representing a full-spectrum of antibiotic resistance classes commonly seen in environmental systems. In this study, we demonstrated DARTE-QM by screening 662 antibiotic resistance genes within environmental samples originated from manure, soil, and animal feces, in addition to a mock-community used as a control to test performance. DARTE-QM offers a new approach to studying antibiotic resistance in environmental microbiomes, showing advantages in efficiency and the ability to scale for many samples. This method provides a means of data acquisition that will alleviate the obstacles that many researchers in this area currently face.
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