Soil type and moisture content alter soil microbial responses to manure from cattle administered antibiotics

Sarah Shawver, Satoshi Ishii, Michael S. Strickland, Brian Badgley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Growing concerns about the global antimicrobial resistance crisis require a better understanding of how antibiotic resistance persists in soil and how antibiotic exposure impacts soil microbial communities. In agroecosystems, these responses are complex because environmental factors may influence how soil microbial communities respond to manure and antibiotic exposure. The study aimed to determine how soil type and moisture alter responses of microbial communities to additions of manure from cattle treated with antibiotics. Soil microcosms were constructed using two soil types at 15, 30, or 45% moisture. Microcosms received biweekly additions of manure from cattle given cephapirin or pirlimycin, antibiotic-free manure, or no manure. While soil type and moisture had the largest effects on microbiome structure, impacts of manure treatments on community structure and individual ARG abundances were observed across varying soil conditions. Activity was also affected, as respiration increased in the cephapirin treatment but decreased with pirlimycin. Manure from cattle antibiotics also increased NH4+ and decreased NO3 availability in some scenarios, but the effects were heavily influenced by soil type and moisture. Overall, this work demonstrates that environmental conditions can alter how manure from cattle administered antibiotics impact the soil microbiome. A nuanced approach that considers environmental variability may benefit the long-term management of antibiotic resistance in soil systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27259-27272
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number18
StatePublished - Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2024.


  • Agriculture
  • Antibiotic Resistance Genes (ARGs)
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Manure
  • Microbial communities
  • Soil moisture
  • Soil type

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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