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Antibiotics, Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria, and Antibiotic Resistance Genes: Indicators of Contamination in Mangroves?
Antibiotics  (IF4.639),  Pub Date : 2021-09-13, DOI: 10.3390/antibiotics10091103
Oskar A. Palacios, Jaime Raúl Adame-Gallegos, Blanca Estela Rivera-Chavira, Guadalupe Virginia Nevarez-Moorillon

Multidrug-resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes can be monitored as indicators of contamination in several environments. Mangroves are among the most productive ecosystems, and although they can be resilient to the action of climate phenomena, their equilibrium can be affected by anthropogenic activities. Regarding the presence and persistence of multidrug-resistant bacteria in mangroves, it is common to think that this ecosystem can function as a reservoir, which can disperse the antibiotic resistance capacity to human pathogens, or serve as a filter to eliminate drug-resistant genes. The possible impact of anthropogenic activities carried out near mangroves is reviewed, including wastewater treatment, food production systems, leisure, and tourism. Adverse effects of antibiotic resistance genes or multidrug-resistant bacteria, considered as emerging contaminants, have not been reported yet in mangroves. On the contrary, mangrove ecosystems can be a natural way to eliminate antibiotics, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and even antibiotic-resistant genes from the environment. Although mangroves’ role in decreasing antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes from the environment is being proposed, the mechanisms by which these plants reduce these emerging contaminants have not been elucidated and need further studies. Additionally, further evaluation is needed on the effects of antibiotics and antibiotic-resistant bacteria in mangroves to generate an analysis of the human contribution to the degradation of this specific ecosystem as well as to define if these contaminants can be used as indicators of contamination in mangrove ecosystems.