Bacteria Spread Antibiotic Resistance Through Soil (Download PDF)

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Researchers from North Carolina State University in US found antibiotic resistance to be passed between bacteria found in the soil. Findings also indicate that spread of manure on ground as fertilizer spreads antibiotic resistance to bacteria in the soil.

Image of Plasmid resistance

Image of Plasmid Resistance

Image of Plasmid resistance

How Does Antibiotic Resistance Spread through Soil

  • Bacteria contain small DNA molecules known as plasmids- separate from bacteria’s DNA but can pick up and exchange genes between bacteria.

  • Antibiotic resistance if contained in some of the bacteria is spread by plasmids to soil bacteria.

  • When manure derived from antibiotic fed animals is spread on the farms the antibiotic resistance bacteria in the manure spread to the soil.

Specifics of the Research

Image of Plasmid Resistance

Image of Plasmid Resistance

Image of Plasmid Resistance

  • Observation was based on soil samples taken from swine farm prior to and three weeks after spreading antibiotic resistance manure.

  • Manure was tested for antibiotic resistant strains of salmonella- pathogen causing highest number of bacterial food borne illnesses in US.

  • Sampling of soil revealed that antibiotic-resistant salmonella bacteria were still present in manure up to 21 days after spread.

  • Plasmid associated with antibiotic-resistant salmonella from manure was found in different salmonella serotypes from soil samples and every serotype with this plasmid (95 kb) was now resistant to antibiotics.

What is Serotype?

  • Serotype (serovar) is a distinct variation in species of bacteria or virus or among immune cells of different individuals. That is a serotype is distinguishable genetic mutant.

Antibiotic Resistance

  • Antibiotics prevent and treat bacterial infections. Resistance occurs when bacteria mutate in response to use of antibiotics in such a way that they do no longer respond to particular antibiotics. Misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals is accelerating the resistance.

- Published/Last Modified on: November 7, 2017

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