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Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 31;7(1):513. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-00600-2.

Lateral Antimicrobial Resistance Genetic Transfer is active in the open environment.

Author information

1
Instituto de Microbiología y Parasitología Médica, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Buenos Aires-Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones, Científicas y Tecnológicas (IMPaM, UBA-CONICET), Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2
Grupo GEMA, Departamento de Ciencias Básicas, Universidad Nacional de Luján, Luján, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
3
Laboratorio de Biología del Comportamiento, IBYME, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
4
Instituto de Microbiología y Parasitología Médica, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Buenos Aires-Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones, Científicas y Tecnológicas (IMPaM, UBA-CONICET), Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina. dcentron@gmail.com.

Abstract

Historically, the environment has been viewed as a passive deposit of antimicrobial resistance mechanisms, where bacteria show biological cost for maintenance of these genes. Thus, in the absence of antimicrobial pressure, it is expected that they disappear from environmental bacterial communities. To test this scenario, we studied native IntI1 functionality of 11 class 1 integron-positive environmental strains of distant genera collected in cold and subtropical forests of Argentina. We found natural competence and successful site-specific insertion with no significant fitness cost of both aadB and bla VIM-2 antimicrobial resistance gene cassettes, in a model system without antibiotic pressure. A bidirectional flow of antimicrobial resistance gene cassettes between natural and nosocomial habitats is proposed, which implies an active role of the open environment as a reservoir, recipient and source of antimicrobial resistance mechanisms, outlining an environmental threat where novel concepts of rational use of antibiotics are extremely urgent and mandatory.

PMID:
28364120
PMCID:
PMC5428826
DOI:
10.1038/s41598-017-00600-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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