The bacterial urban resistome: recent advances

Vassallo, Alberto ORCID logoORCID:, Kett, Stephen ORCID logoORCID:, Purchase, Diane ORCID logoORCID: and Marvasi, Massimiliano ORCID logoORCID: (2022) The bacterial urban resistome: recent advances. Antibiotics, 11 (4) , e512. pp. 1-17. ISSN 2079-6382 [Article] (doi:10.3390/antibiotics11040512)

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Cities that are densely populated are reservoirs of antibiotic resistant genes (ARGs). The overall presence of all resistance genes in a specific environment is defined as a resistome. Spatial proximity of surfaces and different hygienic conditions leads to the transfer of antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) within urban environments. Built environments, public transportation, green spaces, and citizens’ behaviors all support persistence and transfer of antimicrobial resistances (AMR). Various unique aspects of urban settings that promote spread and resilience of ARGs/ARB are discussed: (i) the role of hospitals and recreational parks as reservoirs; (ii) private and public transportation as carriers of ARGs/ARB; (iii) the role of built environments as a hub for horizontal gene transfer even though they support lower microbial biodiversity than outdoor environments; (iv) the need to employ ecological and evolutionary concepts, such as modeling the fate of a specific ARG/ARB, to gain enhanced health risk assessments. Our understanding and our ability to control the rise of AMR in an urban setting is linked to our knowledge of the network connecting urban reservoirs and the environment.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): antimicrobial resistances, urban microbiome, hospitals, pet, recreational water, ARB, ARM, ARGs
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Natural Sciences
Item ID: 34977
Notes on copyright: Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
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Depositing User: Jisc Publications Router
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2022 13:41
Last Modified: 25 May 2022 09:50

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