August 27, 2007


US research say genes with antibiotic resistance can leak from pig farms



A study by the University of Illinois has tracked the movement of the antibiotic tetracycline resistant genes from wastewater lagoons to groundwater from two pig farms.


Antibiotic resistant genes can leak from waste lagoons into groundwater as a result of routine use of antibiotics at swine facilities, the research revealed.


The researchers' findings were reported in the August issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.


The US research team discovered some genes found in pig waste lagoons are transferred from one bacterial species to another. Sometimes genes that result in antibiotic resistance can be amplified through these transfers, researchers said.


The researchers said their study is the first to take a broad sample of tetracycline resistance genes, as well as the first to survey the genes directly, rather than focusing on the organisms that host them.