The shared antibiotic resistome of soil bacteria and human pathogens

Kevin J. Forsberg, Alejandro Reyes, Bin Wang, Elizabeth M. Selleck, Morten O.A. Sommer, Gautam Dantas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

997 Scopus citations

Abstract

Soil microbiota represent one of the ancient evolutionary origins of antibiotic resistance and have been proposed as a reservoir of resistance genes available for exchange with clinical pathogens. Using a high-throughput functional metagenomic approach in conjunction with a pipeline for the de novo assembly of short-read sequence data from functional selections (termed PARFuMS), we provide evidence for recent exchange of antibiotic resistance genes between environmental bacteria and clinical pathogens. We describe multidrug-resistant soil bacteria containing resistance cassettes against five classes of antibiotics (β-lactams, aminoglycosides, amphenicols, sulfonamides, and tetracyclines) that have perfect nucleotide identity to genes from diverse human pathogens. This identity encompasses noncoding regions as well as multiple mobilization sequences, offering not only evidence of lateral exchange but also a mechanism by which antibiotic resistance disseminates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1107-1111
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume337
Issue number6098
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 31 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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