Emergence and Dispersion of Resistance Genes by the Aquatic Environment: a review

Document Type: Review Paper


1 Department of Pathology, Universidade Federal do Espirito Santo, P. O. Box 29043-900, Vitória, Brazil

2 Faculty of Medicine, Universidade de Vila Velha, P. O. Box 29102-920 Vila Velha, Brazil


The association of the emergence of bacterial resistance to clinical environments is common; however, aquatic environments, especially the polluted ones, also play a key role in this regard. Aquatic environments can act as facilitator for the exchange of mobile elements, responsible for resisting antibiotics. They even may stimulate the emergence and selection of these elements through contaminants or the natural competition between bacterial phyla. Currently there is a large number of highly-reliable resistance genes, which is selected in aquatic environments, mostly due to several types of pollution, such as the mcr-1 gene that causes resistance to one of the antibiotics, available in the market, namely colistin. Thus, the present review aims to show a range of impacts capable of selecting bacterial resistance in the environment, thus clarifying this environment's role in dispersion of resistance.


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