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Antibiotic resistance genes in bacteriophages from diverse marine habitats
- Calero-Cáceres, William, Balcázar, José Luis
- The Science of the total environment 2019 v.654 pp. 452-455
- antibiotic resistance, antibiotic resistance genes, bacitracin, bacteriophages, environmental health, geographical distribution, habitats, humans, multiple drug resistance
- Although antibiotic resistance represents a significant and growing threat to human and environmental health worldwide, the contribution of bacteriophages (phages) to the acquisition and spread of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in the environment has not been extensively explored. In this study, a comprehensive analysis of several viromes from diverse marine habitats was performed to investigate whether or not phages carry ARGs. The analysis provides strong evidence that phages from marine habitats are potential reservoirs of ARGs. In fact, genes conferring resistance to aminocoumarin, bacitracin and multidrug resistance (particularly the mexB gene) were found in all analyzed marine viromes. Given this, the role of phages as reservoirs of ARGs should not be underestimated considering their global distribution.