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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2010 Oct;13(5):589-94. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2010.08.005. Epub 2010 Sep 16.

Antibiotic resistance in the environment: a link to the clinic?

Author information

1
M.G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research, Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8N 3Z5. wrightge@mcmaster.ca

Abstract

The emergence of resistance to all classes of antibiotics in previously susceptible bacterial pathogens is a major challenge to infectious disease medicine. The origin of the genes associated with resistance has long been a mystery. There is a growing body of evidence that is demonstrating that environmental microbes are highly drug resistant. The genes that make up this environmental resistome have the potential to be transferred to pathogens and indeed there is some evidence that at least some clinically relevant resistance genes have originated in environmental microbes. Understanding the extent of the environmental resistome and its mobilization into pathogenic bacteria is essential for the management and discovery of antibiotics.

PMID:
20850375
DOI:
10.1016/j.mib.2010.08.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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