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Sampling the antibiotic resistome

Antimicrobial Research Centre, Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, L8N 3Z5.
Science (Impact Factor: 31.48). 02/2006; 311(5759):374-7. DOI: 10.1126/science.1120800
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Microbial resistance to antibiotics currently spans all known classes of natural and synthetic compounds. It has not only hindered our treatment of infections but also dramatically reshaped drug discovery, yet its origins have not been systematically studied. Soil-dwelling bacteria produce and encounter a myriad of antibiotics, evolving corresponding sensing and evading strategies. They are a reservoir of resistance determinants that can be mobilized into the microbial community. Study of this reservoir could provide an early warning system for future clinically relevant antibiotic resistance mechanisms.

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