Rapidly mitigating antibiotic resistant risks in chicken manure by Hermetia illucens bioconversion with intestinal microflora. Academic Article uri icon


  • Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in animal manure are an environmental concern due to naturally occurring bacteria being exposed to these wastes and developing multidrug resistance. The bioconversion of manure with fly larvae is a promising alternative for recycling these wastes while attenuating ARGs. We investigated the impact of black soldier fly (BSF, Hermetia illucens) larval bioconversion of chicken manure on the persistence of associated ARGs. Compared with traditional composting or sterile larval treatments (by 48.4% or 88.7%), non-sterile BSF larval treatments effectively reduced ARGs and integrin genes by 95.0% during 12 days, due to rapid decreases in concentrations of the genes and associated bacteria as they passed through the larval gut and were affected by intestinal microbes. After larval treatments, bacterial community composition differed significantly, with the percentage of Firmicutes possibly carrying ARGs reduced by 65.5% or more. On average, human pathogenic bacteria populations declined by 70.7%-92.9%, effectively mitigating risks of these bacteria carrying ARGs. Environmental pH, nitrogen content and antibiotic concentrations were closely related to both bacterial community composition and targeted gene attenuation in larval systems. Selective pressures of larval gut environments with intestinal microbes, larval bacteriostasis and reformulation of manure due to larval digestion contributed to ARG attenuation.

published proceedings

  • Environ Microbiol

altmetric score

  • 2.1

author list (cited authors)

  • Cai, M., Ma, S., Hu, R., Tomberlin, J. K., Thomashow, L. S., Zheng, L., ... Zhang, J.

citation count

  • 29

complete list of authors

  • Cai, Minmin||Ma, Shiteng||Hu, Ruiqi||Tomberlin, Jeffery K||Thomashow, Linda S||Zheng, Longyu||Li, Wu||Yu, Ziniu||Zhang, Jibin

publication date

  • November 2018