, was led by Dr.
Erica M. Hartmann, PhD, who is an Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental
Engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern University,
Evanston, Illinois, USA.
"This evidence, in and of itself, doesn't mean that
antibiotic resistance is getting worse,"
says Hartmann. "It's just one more risk factor. It's one
more thing that we need to be careful about."
How are Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance Genes Transmitted?
Bacterial antibiotic resistance
genes can be
transmitted by the following two ways:
Transmission: This occurs when the parent bacterium undergoes cell
division and transmits the antibiotic resistance genes to its next-generation progeny
Transmission: This occurs when a bacterium produces a copy of the
antibiotic resistance gene and transmits it to another bacterium within
transmission capability of bacteria is possible due to the presence of DNA
(deoxyribonucleic acid) segments that have mobile properties. The present study
is the first to identify the mobile capabilities of antibiotic resistance genes
in bacteria residing in household
"We observed living bacteria have transferrable
antibiotic resistance genes,"
says Hartmann. "People thought this might be the case, but
no one had actually shown that microbes in dust contain these transferrable
Why Do Bacteria Transmit Antibiotic-Resistance Genes?
The research team believes that the
underlying reason why bacteria transmit their antibiotic resistance genes is
due to exposure to excessive stress. The bacteria are unable to cope with the
stressful conditions that are often present indoors, including the following:
concludes: "Microbes share genes when
they get stressed out."
She adds: "Since
they aren't equipped to handle the stress, so they share genetic elements with
a microbe that might be better equipped."
The research team
recommends using a damp cloth for cleaning surfaces
instead of using
antimicrobial sprays, as the latter can increase the chances of emergence of
antibiotic-resistant bacteria.References :
- Mobilizable Antibiotic Resistance Genes are Present in Dust Microbial Communities - (https://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1008211)
- Stressed-out Dust is Sharing Antibiotic Resistance Genes - (https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2020/01/stressed-out-dust-is-sharing-antibiotic-resistance-genes/)