Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
RANDOX LABORATORIES

Events

10 May 2016 - 16 May 2016
11 May 2016 - 13 May 2016

Soil Bacteria and Human Pathogens Share Multiple Antibiotic Resistance Genes

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 12 Sep 2012
Print article
Researchers have used a high-throughput functional metagenomic approach to show that bacteria in the soil have swapped antibiotic-resistance genes with bacteria that cause disease in humans.

Investigators at Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis, MO, USA) isolated bacteria from soil samples taken at various locations around the United States. Enzymes were used to cut DNA isolated from the soil bacteria into short segments that were randomly inserted into the genome of a strain of Escherichia coli that was vulnerable to antibiotics. Cultures of the E. coli with added soil bacteria genes were then challenged with different antibiotics. DNA was obtained from drug resistant E. coli cultures and analyzed.

The investigators used 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), to identify the antibiotic resistance genes that had been exchanged between environmental bacteria and clinical pathogens. They reported in the August 31, 2012, issue of the journal Science finding seven multidrug-resistant soil bacteria containing resistance cassettes against five classes of antibiotics (beta-lactams, aminoglycosides, amphenicols, sulfonamides, and tetracyclines) that had perfect nucleotide identity to genes from diverse human pathogens.


Some genes were found to be identical not only in the sections of the genes that code for proteins but also in nearby noncoding regions that regulate the genes’ activities. The lack of differences in the resistance genes identified in the study suggests that the transfers of the genes must have occurred fairly recently.


"We wanted to try to get a broader sense of how often and extensively antibiotic-resistance genes are shared between environmental bacteria and pathogens," said senior author Dr. Gautam Dantas, assistant professor of pathology and immunology at Washington University School of Medicine. "I suspect the soil is not a teeming reservoir of resistance genes. But if factory farms or medical clinics continue to release antibiotics into the environment, it may enrich that reservoir, potentially making resistance genes more accessible to infectious bacteria."

Related Links:
Washington University School of Medicine



Print article

Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: Drop-inoculation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutants on an agar plate. The assay compares the viability of different yeast mutants (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Defective Genome Instability Suppressing Genes May Cause Some Types of Cancer

Cancer researchers reported in a recent study that defects in the expression of genes that suppress gross chromosomal rearrangements (GCRs) were linked to more than 93% of the ovarian and 66% of the colorectal... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel

Huge Modifiable Biomedical Database to Be Available on the Wikidata Site

Genome researchers are exploiting the power of the open Internet community Wikipedia database to create a comprehensive resource for geneticists, molecular biologists, and other interested life scientists. While efficiency in generating scientific data improves almost daily, applying meaningful relationships between... Read more

Business

view channel

DNA Synthesis Specialists Acquire Advanced Software Design Capabilities

An American biotech firm that develops and produces synthetic DNA has established an international presence by purchasing an Israeli genetic design software company. Twist Bioscience Corporation (San Francisco, CA, USA), a company specializing in rapid, high-quality DNA synthesis, announced that Genome Compiler Corporation... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2016 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.