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The development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is accelerated by the selective pressure exerted by the widespread use of antimicrobial drugs, posing an increasing danger to public health. However, long-term spatiotemporal variation in AMR genes in microorganisms, particularly in bacterial pathogens in response to antibiotic consumption, is not fully understood. Here, we used the NCBI RefSeq database to collect 478 whole-genome sequences for Serratia marcescens ranging from 1961 up to 2019, to document global long-term AMR trends in S. marcescens populations. In total, 100 AMR gene subtypes (16 AMR gene types) were detected in the genomes of S. marcescens populations. We identified 3 core resistance genes in S. marcescens genomes, and a high diversity of AMR genes was observed in S. marcescens genomes after corresponding antibiotics were discovered and introduced into clinical practice, suggesting the adaptation of S. marcescens populations to challenges with therapeutic antibiotics. Our findings indicate spatiotemporal variation of AMR genes in S. marcescens populations in relation to antibiotic consumption and suggest the potential transmission of S. marcescens isolates harboring AMR genes among countries and between the environment and the clinic, representing a public health threat that necessitates international solidarity to overcome. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Jie Hou, Daqing Mao, Yulin Zhang, Ruiyang Huang, Linyun Li, Xiaolong Wang, Yi Luo. Long-term spatiotemporal variation of antimicrobial resistance genes within the Serratia marcescens population and transmission of S. marcescens revealed by public whole-genome datasets. Journal of hazardous materials. 2022 Feb 05;423(Pt B):127220

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PMID: 34844350

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