A framework for identifying the recent origins of mobile antibiotic resistance genes
Since the introduction of antibiotics as therapeutic agents, many bacterial pathogens have developed resistance to antibiotics. Mobile resistance genes, acquired through horizontal gene transfer, play an important role in this process. Understanding from which bacterial taxa these genes were mobilized, and whether their origin taxa share common traits, is critical for predicting which environments and conditions contribute to the emergence of novel resistance genes. This knowledge may prove valuable for limiting or delaying future transfer of novel resistance genes into pathogens. The literature on the origins of mobile resistance genes is scattered and based on evidence of variable quality. Here, we summarize, amend and scrutinize the evidence for 37 proposed origins of mobile resistance genes.
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