There is a very good reason microbes would be armed with antibiotic resistance genes, the researchers explain. After all, most antibiotics used in medicine are isolated from soil microorganisms, such as bacteria or fungi, in the first place. That means that the resistance genes were available long before humans put antibiotic drugs into use. Bacteria lacking them to start with can simply borrow them (via horizontal transfer of genes) from those that are better equipped.
Nesme and Simonet say the new findings should come as a plea for a broader ecological perspective on the antibiotic resistance problem.
“It is only with more knowledge on antibiotic resistance dissemination — from the environment to pathogens in the clinic and leading to antibiotic treatment failure rates — that we will be able to produce more sustainable antibiotic drugs,” Nesme says.
You didn’t mean: Quit ending the careers of Darwin doubters, did you?
Follow UD News at Twitter!