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Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering >> 2020, Volume 7, Issue 3 doi: 10.15302/J-FASE-2020333

Transmission of antibiotic resistance genes in agroecosystems: an overview

Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia

Accepted: 2020-03-11 Available online: 2020-03-11

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The use of antibiotics in human medicine and animal husbandry has resulted in the continuous release of antibiotics into the environment, which imposes high selection pressure on bacteria to develop antibiotic resistance. The spread and aggregation of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in multidrug-resistant pathogens is one of the most intractable clinical challenges. Numerous studies have been conducted to profile the patterns of ARGs in agricultural ecosystems, as this is closely related to human health and wellbeing. This paper provides an overview of the transmission of ARGs in agricultural ecosystems resulting from the application of animal manures and other organic amendments. The future need to control and mitigate the spread of antibiotic resistance in agricultural ecosystems is also discussed, particularly from a holistic perspective, and requires multiple sector efforts to translate fundamental knowledge into effective strategies.

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