Zoo animal manure as an overlooked reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes and multidrug-resistant bacteria

Jihyeon Min, Pureun Kim, Sohyeon Yun, Minyoung Hong, Woojun Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Animal fecal samples collected in the summer and winter from 11 herbivorous animals, including sable antelope (SA), long-tailed goral (LTG), and common eland (CE), at a public zoo were examined for the presence of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). Seven antibiotics, including meropenem and azithromycin, were used to isolate culturable multidrug-resistant (MDR) strains. The manures from three animals (SA, LTG, and CE) contained 104-fold higher culturable MDR bacteria, including Chryseobacterium, Sphingobacterium, and Stenotrophomonas species, while fewer MDR bacteria were isolated from manure from water buffalo, rhinoceros, and elephant against all tested antibiotics. Three MDR bacteria-rich samples along with composite samples were further analyzed using nanopore-based technology. ARGs including lnu(C), tet(Q), and mef(A) were common and often associated with transposons in all tested samples, suggesting that transposons carrying ARGs may play an important role for the dissemination of ARGs in our tested animals. Although several copies of ARGs such as aph(3')-IIc, blaL1, blaIND-3, and tet(42) were found in the sequenced genomes of the nine MDR bacteria, the numbers and types of ARGs appeared to be less than expected in zoo animal manure, suggesting that MDR bacteria in the gut of the tested animals had intrinsic resistant phenotypes in the absence of ARGs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)710-726
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant (NRF-2020M3A9H5104237).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Antibiotics
  • Feces
  • Herbivores
  • Metagenome
  • Nanopore
  • Resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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