Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 5:02 pm
Soil bacteria may be helping to make disease-causing bacteria resistant to antibiotics.
That’s according to a new study out of Washington University.
Lead researcher, microbiologist Gautam Dantas, says he and his colleagues found seven genes in farmland soil bacteria that are identical to genes in human pathogens – and that provide resistance to a wide range of antibiotics.
The bacterium Enterococcus faecalis, which lives in the human gut, is just one type of microbe that was studied as part of the Human Microbiome Project funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Researchers have completed the first comprehensive census of the human “microbiome” — the trillions of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that live in and on our bodies.