Antibiotics 2013, 2(2), 191-205; doi:10.3390/antibiotics2020191
Review

Tracking Change: A Look at the Ecological Footprint of Antibiotics and Antimicrobial Resistance

1,* email and 2email
Received: 16 February 2013; in revised form: 19 March 2013 / Accepted: 20 March 2013 / Published: 27 March 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Environmental Footprint of Antibiotics)
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Abstract: Among the class of pollutants considered as ‘emerging contaminants’, antibiotic compounds including drugs used in medical therapy, biocides and disinfectants merit special consideration because their bioactivity in the environment is the result of their functional design. Antibiotics can alter the structure and function of microbial communities in the receiving environment and facilitate the development and spread of resistance in critical species of bacteria including pathogens. Methanogenesis, nitrogen transformation and sulphate reduction are among the key ecosystem processes performed by bacteria in nature that can also be affected by the impacts of environmental contamination by antibiotics. Together, the effects of the development of resistance in bacteria involved in maintaining overall ecosystem health and the development of resistance in human, animal and fish pathogens, make serious contributions to the risks associated with environmental pollution by antibiotics. In this brief review, we discuss the multiple impacts on human and ecosystem health of environmental contamination by antibiotic compounds.
Keywords: antibiotics; environment; antimicrobial resistance; health
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Keen, P.L.; Patrick, D.M. Tracking Change: A Look at the Ecological Footprint of Antibiotics and Antimicrobial Resistance. Antibiotics 2013, 2, 191-205.

AMA Style

Keen PL, Patrick DM. Tracking Change: A Look at the Ecological Footprint of Antibiotics and Antimicrobial Resistance. Antibiotics. 2013; 2(2):191-205.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Keen, Patricia L.; Patrick, David M. 2013. "Tracking Change: A Look at the Ecological Footprint of Antibiotics and Antimicrobial Resistance." Antibiotics 2, no. 2: 191-205.

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