Dazzling Knowledge

Friday, April 04, 2008

Bacteria Subsisting on Antibiotics


Crazy, scary superbug news from Science:

Antibiotics are a crucial line of defense against bacterial infections. Nevertheless, several antibiotics are natural products of microorganisms that have as yet poorly appreciated ecological roles in the wider environment. We isolated hundreds of soil bacteria with the capacity to grow on antibiotics as a sole carbon source. Of 18 antibiotics tested, representing eight major classes of natural and synthetic origin, 13 to 17 supported the growth of clonal bacteria from each of 11 diverse soils. Bacteria subsisting on antibiotics are surprisingly phylogenetically diverse, and many are closely related to human pathogens. Furthermore, eacha ntibiotic-consuming isolate was resistant to multiple antibiotics at clinically relevant concentrations. This phenomenon suggests that this unappreciated reservoir of antibiotic-resistance determinants can contribute to the increasing levels of multiple antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria.

1 Comments:

Blogger Chamomiles Davis said...

I understood maybe one out of every three words in this post.

2:18 PM  

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