Danko, D., Bezdan, D., Afshinnekoo, E., Ahsanuddin, S., Alicea, J., Bhattacharya, C., Bhattacharyya, M., Blekhman, R., Butler, D., Castro-Nallar, E., Canas, A., Chatziefthimiou, A., Chng, K. R., Coil, D., Court, D., Crawford, R., Desnues, C., Dias-Neto, E., Donnellan, D., & Mason, C. (2019). Global Genetic Cartography of Urban Metagenomes and Anti-Microbial Resistance. The International MetaSUB Consortium, bioRxiv preprint P724526. https://doi.org/10.1101/724526
We have created a global atlas of 4,728 metagenomic samples from mass-transit systems in 60 cities across 3 years. This is the first systematic, worldwide study cataloging the urban microbial ecosystem. We identify taxonomically-defined microorganisms collected across three years. This atlas provides an annotated, geospatial profile of microbial strains, functional characteristics AMR markers, and novel genetic elements, including 10,928 viral, 1302 bacteria, and 2 archaea novel species. We identify 4,424 species of urban microorganisms and a consistent “core” of 31 species found in nearly all samples that is largely distinct from any human commensal microbiome. Profiles of AMR genes show geographic variation in type and density. Together, these results constitute a high-resolution, global metagenomic atlas, which enables the discovery of new genetic components, highlights potential forensic applications, and provides an essential first draft of the global AMR burden of the world’s cities.