Aberrant microbiomes are associated with increased antibiotic resistance gene load in hybrid mice


  • V.H. Jarquín-Díaz
  • S.C.M. Ferreira
  • A. Balard
  • L. Ďureje
  • M. Macholán
  • J. Piálek
  • J. Bengtsson-Palme
  • S. Kramer-Schadt
  • S.K. Forslund-Startceva
  • E. Heitlinger


  • ISME Communications


  • ISME Commun ycae053


  • Antibiotic resistance is a priority public health problem resulting from eco-evolutionary dynamics within microbial communities and their interaction at a mammalian host interface or geographical scale. The links between mammalian host genetics, bacterial gut community and antimicrobial resistance gene (ARG) content must be better understood in natural populations inhabiting heterogeneous environments. Hybridisation, the interbreeding of genetically divergent populations, influences different components of the gut microbial communities. However, its impact on bacterial traits such as antibiotic resistance is unknown. Here, we present that hybridisation might shape bacterial communities and ARG occurrence. We used amplicon sequencing to study the gut microbiome and to predict ARG composition in natural populations of house mice (Mus musculus). We compared gastrointestinal bacterial and ARG diversity, composition and abundance across a gradient of pure and hybrid genotypes in the European house mouse hybrid zone. We observed an increased overall predicted richness of ARG in hybrid mice. We found bacteria - ARG interactions by their co-abundance and detected phenotypes of extreme abundances in hybrid mice at the level of specific bacterial taxa and ARGs, mainly multidrug resistance genes. Our work suggests that mammalian host genetic variation impacts the gut microbiome and chromosomal ARGs. However, it raises further questions on how the mammalian host genetics impact ARGs via microbiome dynamics or environmental covariates.