chapter  9
32 Pages

Detection of 140 Clinically Relevant Antibiotic-Resistance Genes in the Plasmid Metagenome of Wastewater Treatment Plant Bacteria Showing Reduced Susceptibility to Selected Antibiotics

RAFAEL SZCZEPANOWSKI, BURKHARD LINKE, IRENE KRAHN, KARL-HEINZ GARTEMANN, TIM GÜTZKOW, WOLFGANG EICHLER, ALFRED PÜHLER, AND ANDREAS SCHLÜTER

9.1 INTRODUCTION

Development and dissemination of antibiotic-resistance genes is a serious problem in the treatment of infectious diseases (Goossens, 2005; Lim & Webb, 2005). An important step in coping with this threat is to elucidate and to understand pathways for resistance gene spread. Many resistance genes are located on mobile genetic elements such as plasmids, transposons and integrons, which function as vectors for these determinants and promote their dissemination (Bennett, 1999; Davies, 1994; Davison, 1999; Hall & Collis, 1995; Mazel & Davies, 1999; Rowe-Magnus & Mazel, 1999; Seveno et al., 2002). Moreover, inappropriate use of antimicrobial

drugs favours spread of resistance genes by selection for resistant microorganisms (Bywater, 2004, 2005; Wassenaar, 2005).