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Res Microbiol. 2001 Jun;152(5):421-30.

Antibiotic resistance with particular reference to soil microorganisms.

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  • 1Department of Biology, North Carolina Central University, Durham 27707, USA.


Evidence of increasing resistance to antibiotics in soil and other natural isolates highlights the importance of horizontal transfer of resistance genes in facilitating gene flux in bacteria. Horizontal gene transfer in bacteria is favored by the presence of mobile genetic elements and by the organization of bacterial genomes into operons allowing for the cooperative transfer of genes with related functions. The selective pressure for the spread of resistance genes correlates strongly with the clinical and agricultural overuse of antibiotics. The future of antimicrobial chemotherapy may lie in developing new antimicrobials using information from comparative functional microbial genomics to find genetic targets for antimicrobials and also to understand gene expression enabling selective targeting of genes with expression that correlates with the infectious process.

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