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Antibiotic resistance gene discovery in food-producing animals
- Allen, Heather K.
- ARS USDA Submissions 2014 v.19 pp. 25
- antibiotic resistance, antibiotics, food animals, gene transfer, genes, intestinal microorganisms, metagenomics, polymerase chain reaction
- Numerous environmental reservoirs contribute to the widespread antibiotic resistance problem in human pathogens. One environmental reservoir of particular importance is the intestinal bacteria of food-producing animals. In this review I examine recent discoveries of antibiotic resistance genes in agricultural animals. Two types of antibiotic resistance gene discoveries will be discussed: the use of classic microbiological and molecular techniques, such as culturing and PCR, to identify known genes not previously reported in animals; and the application of high-throughput technologies, such as metagenomics, to identify novel genes and gene transfer mechanisms. These discoveries confirm that antibiotics should be limited to prudent uses.