Cigarette smoking promotes the spread of antimicrobial resistance in the human lung and the environment

Publikation: Vorabdruck/Dokumentation/BerichtVorabdruck (Preprint)



While immediate health risks of cigarette smoking are well-established, indirect health impacts of cigarette-derived pollutants through proliferation of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) among bacteria remain understudied. Here, exposure to cigarette smoke condensate at relevant concentrations resulted in >2-fold elevated transfer rates of a multi-drug-resistance encoding plasmid betweenPseudomonasstrains in artificial lung sputum medium. This effect was connected to elevated reactive oxygen species production as part of the bacterial stress response when exposed to cigarette-derived toxicants. Similar results were obtained under exposure to cigarette ash leachate in environmental medium. Further, used cigarette filters enriched in toxic residues were submerged in a wastewater stream, and colonized by altered microbial communities compared to unused filters. These communities were significantly enriched in pathogens and AMR. Hence, filters could facilitate hitchhiking of high-risk bacteria to novel environments. We demonstrate that cigarette-derived compounds can promote the spread of AMR within the human lung and natural environments.


PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 14 Aug. 2023
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Externe IDs

ORCID /0000-0002-6048-6984/work/161890504
ORCID /0000-0001-5372-0923/work/161890582
ORCID /0000-0003-1851-2066/work/161890932
ORCID /0000-0002-9301-1803/work/161892037