Cristian Piras 1 , * , Viviana Greco 2 , 3 , Enrico Gugliandolo 4 , Alessio Soggiu 5 , Bruno Tilocca 1 , Luigi Bonizzi 5 , Alfonso Zecconi 5 , Rainer Cramer 6 , Domenico Britti 1 , Andrea Urbani 2 , 3 , Paola Roncada 1 , *
11 December 2020
Antimicrobials represent useful tools to fight bacterial infections that could harm human and animal health. Antimicrobial resistance occurs naturally or can be induced by the misuse of antibiotics. Its occurrence limits the efficiency of antibiotics and therefore the possibility to treat infections effectively. This can lead to an increasing severity of infectious diseases in humans and animals. Here, we describe the development of a workflow that provides a qualitative representation of the antimicrobial genes that are translated into proteins. Since proteins are ultimately the real effectors, the method herein described demonstrates that those genes are effectively enhancing antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The presented method is independent of any amplification step and provides useful information on the dynamics of the biochemical functions accomplished by the raw milk bacterial consortium.
The environment, including animals and animal products, is colonized by bacterial species that are typical and specific of every different ecological niche. Natural and human-related ecological pressure promotes the selection and expression of genes related to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). These genes might be present in a bacterial consortium but might not necessarily be expressed. Their expression could be induced by the presence of antimicrobial compounds that could originate from a given ecological niche or from human activity. In this work, we applied (meta)proteomics analysis of bacterial compartment of raw milk in order to obtain a method that provides a measurement of circulating AMR involved proteins and gathers information about the whole bacterial composition. Results from milk analysis revealed the presence of 29 proteins/proteoforms linked to AMR. The detection of mainly β-lactamases suggests the possibility of using the milk microbiome as a bioindicator for the investigation of AMR. Moreover, it was possible to achieve a culture-free qualitative and functional analysis of raw milk bacterial consortia.