Antibiotic resistance gene spread due to manure application on agricultural fields
The usage of antibiotics in animal husbandry has promoted the development and abundance of antibiotic resistance in farm environments. Manure has become a reservoir of resistant bacteria and antibiotic compounds, and its application to agricultural soils is assumed to significantly increase antibiotic resistance genes and selection of resistant bacterial populations in soil. The genome location of resistance genes is likely to shift towards mobile genetic elements such as broad-host-range plasmids, integrons and transposable elements. Horizontal transfer of these elements to bacteria adapted to soil or other habitats supports their environmental transmission independent of the original host. The human exposure to soil-borne resistance has yet to be determined, but is likely to be severely underestimated.