Call of the wild: antibiotic resistance genes in natural environments

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2010 Apr;8(4):251-9. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2312. Epub 2010 Mar 1.


Antibiotic-resistant pathogens are profoundly important to human health, but the environmental reservoirs of resistance determinants are poorly understood. The origins of antibiotic resistance in the environment is relevant to human health because of the increasing importance of zoonotic diseases as well as the need for predicting emerging resistant pathogens. This Review explores the presence and spread of antibiotic resistance in non-agricultural, non-clinical environments and demonstrates the need for more intensive investigation on this subject.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Environment
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Genes, Bacterial*
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / genetics
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Water Movements
  • Wind


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents