Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Phages transducing antibiotic resistance detected in chicken meat

21.05.2015

Bacteria resistant to antibiotics are on the rise. There are different explanations for how these resistances are transferred. Researchers from the Vetmeduni Vienna found phages in chicken meat that are able to transfer antimicrobial resistance to bacteria. Phages are viruses that exclusively infect bacteria and are therefore harmless to humans. However, phages can contribute to the spread of antimicrobial resistance. These findings are not only relevant for the food industry but also for medicine. The study was published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Antimicrobial resistance in bacteria poses a global threat to public health. Common antibiotics are often ineffective in treating infectious diseases because pathogens acquire resistance genes. These antimicrobial resistance genes are obtained in different ways.


Elektron microscopic picture of a bacteriaphage.

Photo: Szostak/Dinhopl/Vetmeduni Vienna

„The most frequent way is the transfer via mobile genetic elements such as plasmids, or via transposons, the so-called jumping genes,” explains Friederike Hilbert, scientist at the Institute of Meat Hygiene at the Vetmeduni Vienna. “Transfer of resistances via phages was thought to play a minor role so far.”

Hilbert and her colleagues isolated phages from 50 chicken samples purchased from Austrian supermarkets, street markets and butchers. They found phages in 49 samples. “Phages do not pose a risk to humans because they can only infect bacteria. No other cells or organisms can be infected.”

Their analysis showed that one quarter of the phages under study were able to transduce antimicrobial resistance to E. coli bacteria under laboratory conditions. They transduced resistance to kanamycin, tetracycline, ampicillin, and chloramphenicol. No phage was able to transduce resistance to an extended-spectrum beta-lactam resistance (ESBL).

“This mechanism could also be important in clinical settings, where multiresistant pathogens are on the rise. We assume that phages acquire resistance genes from already resistant bacteria and then transfer those genes to other bacteria,” says Hilbert.
“Our results could explain why resistances spread so rapidly among bacteria.”

Catalysts for evolution

Scientists have known for a while that phages are able to transduce genes but this was considered a rare event for genes encoding resistance to antibiotics. Newer DNA analyses show, however, that phages leave their signature in bacterial genomes. This way of transfer is presumably more frequent than thought. Phages may therefore play a major role in bacterial evolution.

Phages are more robust than bacteria

Compared to bacteria, phages are significantly more resistant to disinfectants. Alcohol, in particular, is hardly active against phages. “Common disinfection methods are often inappropriate against phages,” Hilbert underlines. The food industry and also hospitals may choose disinfectants that are active against bacteria, but might be ineffective against phages.

Focussing on phage therapy

Treating bacterial infections with phages has become a promising alternative combating antimicrobial-resistant pathogens where phages directly combat bacteria. Hilbert recommends to test therapeutic phages for their ability to transfer resistance genes. The combination of phages and multiresistant pathogens could otherwise result in a hazardous cocktail of phages transferring multiresistance genes.”

Service:
Der Artikel „Bacteriophages isolated from chicken meat and the horizontal transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes” von Amira Shousha, Nattakarn Awaiwanont, Dmitrij Sofka, Frans J.M. Smulders, Peter Paulsen, Michael P. Szostak, Tom Humphrey und Friederike Hilbert wurde in Applied and Environmental Microbiology veröffentlicht. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00872-15
http://aem.asm.org/content/early/2015/04/27/AEM.00872-15.long

About the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna
The University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna in Austria is one of the leading academic and research institutions in the field of Veterinary Sciences in Europe. About 1,300 employees and 2,300 students work on the campus in the north of Vienna which also houses five university clinics and various research sites. Outside of Vienna the university operates Teaching and Research Farms. http://www.vetmeduni.ac.at

Scientific Contact:
Ao.Univ.-Prof. Friederike Hilbert
Institut of Meat Hygiene
University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna)
T +43 1 20577-3316
friederike.hilbert@vetmeduni.ac.at

Released by:
Susanna Kautschitsch
Science Communication / Public Relations
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna)
T +43 1 25077-1153
susanna.kautschitsch@vetmeduni.ac.at

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.vetmeduni.ac.at/en/infoservice/presseinformation/press-releases-2015/...

Dr. Susanna Kautschitsch | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

nachricht Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>