抗生素抗性基因会轻易在医院环境中不相关的细菌之间转移,这促使人们猜测:土壤中抗性基因显著的多样性有助于抗生素抗性从环境生物向致病生物不断增加的流动。这项研究驳斥了这一观点。Kevin Forsberg等人就一系列农业土壤和草地土壤对18种抗生素的抵抗力进行了功能元基因组筛选,发现土壤细菌很少拥有物种之间抗性基因交换的序列特征。看来,特定的生物,而不是横向交换的DNA元素,才是土壤中抗生素抗性的主要传播者。

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