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Co-Selection of Resistance to Antibiotics, Biocides and Heavy Metals, and Its Relevance to Foodborne Pathogens

Wales, Andrew and Davies, RH (2015) Co-Selection of Resistance to Antibiotics, Biocides and Heavy Metals, and Its Relevance to Foodborne Pathogens Antibiotics, 4 (4). pp. 567-604.

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Concerns have been raised in recent years regarding co-selection for antibiotic resistance among bacteria exposed to biocides used as disinfectants, antiseptics and preservatives, and to heavy metals (particularly copper and zinc) used as growth promoters and therapeutic agents for some livestock species. There is indeed experimental and observational evidence that exposure to these non-antibiotic antimicrobial agents can induce or select for bacterial adaptations that result in decreased susceptibility to one or more antibiotics. This may occur via cellular mechanisms that are protective across multiple classes of antimicrobial agents or by selection of genetic determinants for resistance to non-antibiotic agents that are linked to genes for antibiotic resistance. There may also be relevant effects of these antimicrobial agents on bacterial community structure and via non-specific mechanisms such as mobilization of genetic elements or mutagenesis. Notably, some co-selective adaptations have adverse effects on fitness in the absence of a continued selective pressure. The present review examines the evidence for the significance of these phenomena, particularly in respect of bacterial zoonotic agents that commonly occur in livestock and that may be transmitted, directly or via the food chain, to human populations.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine
Authors :
Davies, RH
Date : 13 November 2015
DOI : 10.3390/antibiotics4040567
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (
Uncontrolled Keywords : biocide; heavy metal; antimicrobial resistance; zoonoses
Depositing User : Melanie Hughes
Date Deposited : 18 Oct 2017 15:55
Last Modified : 24 Oct 2017 12:04

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