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Title: Study of the correlation between archived metal-polluted soils and microbial resistance to antibiotics and metals
Author: Abdelhameed, Alyaa
ISNI:       0000 0004 7425 5292
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2018
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Soil contamination with metals is a widespread problem, prominent near mines and industrial facilities. The British Geology Survey via its Geochemical Baseline Survey of Environment (G-BASE) project provides a resource of well-documented soil archives from national and international locations, giving geochemical datasets that comprise metal concentrations in top and profile soil samples. This study focused on G-BASE data and soil samples collected from urban areas of Swansea-Neath-Port Talbot (SNPT) in South Wales (UK), with sampling points at a density of 1 per 0.25km2.This PhD study has evaluated (i) the pollution status of metals in urban soil samples and their potential ecological risk in an urban UK environment, specifically the SNPT area; (ii) the effect of metals on bacterial community and diversity in metal-polluted urbansoils, and (iii) the effect of metals on microbial adaptation to antimicrobial stress and resistance and on genome evolution. A representative selection of soil samples from the G-BASE soil collection was tested to enable completion of culture-independent and culture-dependent ecological studies. The pollution status in the 373 sampled soils was assessed using the pollution index of metals and correlations between metals were assessed. The bacterial community structure was studied in 63 soil samples which evaluated the effect of 16 metals on microbial community composition and diversity. The effect of metal pollution stress on bacterial viability in soils was investigated for resistance to four common antibiotics. Bacterial adaptation to metal pollution and AMR in metal-antibiotic co-exposure responses was also tested in clinically relevant pathogenic bacteria, specifically methicillin-sensitive and -resistant Staphylococcus aureus to identify routes for antimicrobial chemotherapeutic drug discovery. Finally, the effect of metal exposure on the dynamics of genomic adaptation and resistance in bacterial isolates was determined by identification of pan- and accessory genomes and resistome marker genes through whole genome sequencing and bioinformatic analysis.
Supervisor: Van Keulen, G. ; Abascal, R. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral