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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 May 4;101(18):7118-22. Epub 2004 Apr 23.

Gram-positive bacteria are a major reservoir of Class 1 antibiotic resistance integrons in poultry litter.

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1
Department of Microbiology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.

Abstract

Reversing the spread of antibiotic multiresistant bacteria is hampered by ignorance of the natural history of resistance genes, the mobile elements carrying them, and the bacterial hosts harboring them. Using traditional cultivation and cultivation-independent molecular techniques, we quantified antibiotic resistance genes and mobile elements called integrons in poultry house litter from commercial poultry farms. Unexpectedly, the major reservoir for Class 1 integrons in poultry litter is not their previously identified hosts, Gram-negative Enterobacteriaceae such as Escherichia coli. Rather, integrons and associated resistance genes abound in several genera of Gram-positive bacteria that constitute >85% of the litter community compared with Enterobacteriaceae that comprise <2% of this ecosystem. This finding warrants reexamination of our assumptions about the persistence and spread of antibiotic resistance genes.

PMID:
15107498
PMCID:
PMC406475
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.0306466101
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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