2 5 4 1 2 1 83
Home About us MoEF Contact us Sitemap Tamil Website  
About Envis
Whats New
Research on Microbes
Microbiology Experts
Online Submission
Access Statistics

Site Visitors

blog tracking

Food Microbiology
Vol. 64, 2017, Pages: 23–32

Antimicrobial resistance and its association with tolerance to heavy metals in agriculture production

Zhongyi Yu, Lynda Gunn, Patrick Wall, Sťamus Fanning

UCD-Centre for Food Safety, School of Public Health, Physiotherapy & Sports Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin D04 N2E5, Ireland.


Antimicrobial resistance is a recognized public health challenge that since its emergence limits the therapeutic options available to veterinarians and clinicians alike, when treatment is warranted. This development is further compounded by the paucity of new antibiotics. The agri-food industry benefits from the availability of antimicrobial compounds for food-animal production and crop protection. Nonetheless, their improper use can result in the selection for bacteria that are phenotypically resistant to these compounds. Another class of agents used in agriculture includes various cationic metals that can be included in animal diets as nutritional supplements or spread on pastures to support crop growth and protection. Heavy metals, in particular, are giving rise to concerns among public health professionals, as they can persist in the environment remaining stable for prolonged periods. Moreover, bacteria can also exhibit resistance to these chemical elements and the genes encoding this phenotype can be physically localized to plasmids that may also contain one or more antimicrobial resistance-encoding gene(s).

This paper reviews our current understanding of the role that bacteria play in expressing resistance to heavy metals. It will describe how heavy metals are used in agri-food production, and explore evidence available to link resistance to heavy metals and antimicrobial compounds.

In addition, possible solutions to reduce the impact of heavy metal resistance are also discussed, including using organic minerals and reducing the level of trace minerals in animal feed rations.

Keywords: Antibiotic resistance; Co-selection; Organic minerals; Metal tolerance.

Copyright © 2005 ENVIS Centre ! All rights reserved
This site is optimized for 1024 x 768 screen resolution