Researchers have discovered antibiotic resistance genes are spreading to bacteria of Australian wildlife, which is worrying given the animals have never been treated with antibiotics.
Dr. Michelle Power said the resistance genes from bacteria in humans and domestic animals were being spread through the environment to naturally occurring bacteria of wild animals.
One way it’s happening is through naturally occurring mobile genetic elements called integrons, discovered by Australian researchers in the late 1990s.”We found the closer the contact between the wildlife with humans, the more animals within a population were carrying the antibiotic resistant bacteria,” Power said.
She said efforts must be made to reduce the overuse of antibiotics in humans and domestic animals, as it could be more difficult to treat sick wild animals with antibiotics if the resistance continues to spread.
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