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Current Opinion in Microbiology
Volume 64, 2021, Pages 117-124

Role of pollution on the selection of antibiotic resistance and bacterial pathogens in the environment

Elena Buelow1,2, Marie-Cecile Ploy2, Christophe Dagot2

Université Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, TIMC-IMAG, 38000, Grenoble, France.


There is evidence that human activity causes pollution that contributes to an enhanced selection of bacterial pathogens in the environment. In this review, we consider how environmental pollution can favour the selection of bacterial pathogens in the environment. We specifically discuss pollutants released into the environment by human activities (mainly human waste) that are associated with the selection for genetic features in environmental bacterial populations that lead to the emergence of bacterial pathogens. Finally, we also identify key pollutants that are associated with antibiotic resistance and discuss possibilities of how to prevent their release into the environment.

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