Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Evolution in Health and Disease$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Stephen C. Stearns and Jacob C. Koella

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199207466

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199207466.001.0001

Subscriber Login

Forgotten your password?


The ecology and evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria

(p.125) Chapter 10 The ecology and evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Evolution in Health and Disease

Carl T. Bergstrom

Michael Feldgarden

Oxford University Press

Bacteria evolve resistance to antibiotics with near certainty after several years of widespread use. Resistance can evolve via several genetic mechanisms and spread through and between species via gene transfer. Resistance that evolves in agricultural settings can transfer into human populations. Associations among resistance genes, and the process of compensatory evolution, can cause retention of resistance genes, even in the absence of selection favoring resistance. Novel approaches to antimicrobial therapy may provide alternatives to traditional broad-spectrum antibiotics for which resistance is less quick to evolve. To eradicate antibiotic resistance from a hospital setting, researchers need a thorough understanding of the underlying ecology. For example, antibiotic cycling, the hospital equivalent of crop rotation, does not necessarily reduce the environmental heterogeneity at the scale relevant to bacterial clones spreading through the hospital and thus may be ineffective at reducing the frequency of resistant strains in a hospital setting.

Keywords:   antibiotic resistance, agriculture, hospital-acquired infections, antibiotic management, antibiotic cycling

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .