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Science. 2008 Jul 18;321(5887):365-7. doi: 10.1126/science.1159483.

Antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes in natural environments.

Author information

  • 1Departamento de Biotecnología Microbiana, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CSIC), Darwin 3, Campus UAM, Cantoblanco, 28049-Madrid, and CIBERESP, Spain. jlmtnez@cnb.csic.es

Abstract

The large majority of antibiotics currently used for treating infections and the antibiotic resistance genes acquired by human pathogens each have an environmental origin. Recent work indicates that the function of these elements in their environmental reservoirs may be very distinct from the "weapon-shield" role they play in clinical settings. Changes in natural ecosystems, including the release of large amounts of antimicrobials, might alter the population dynamics of microorganisms, including selection of resistance, with consequences for human health that are difficult to predict.

PMID:
18635792
DOI:
10.1126/science.1159483
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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