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Antibiotics 2015, 4(3), 299-308; doi:10.3390/antibiotics4030299

Can Clays in Livestock Feed Promote Antibiotic Resistance and Virulence in Pathogenic Bacteria?

1
Institut für Biologie, Freie Universität Berlin, Königin-Luise-Str. 1-3-14195 Berlin, Germany
2
Instituto de Biomedicina de Sevilla (IBIS), Campus HU Virgen del Rocío. Avda. Manuel Siurot S/N, 41013 Seville, Spain
3
Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CNB), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC). Calle Darwin 3, 28049 Madrid, Spain
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Martin J. Woodward
Received: 3 June 2015 / Revised: 9 July 2015 / Accepted: 13 July 2015 / Published: 16 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Use of Antibiotics in Food-Producing Animals)
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Abstract

The use of antibiotics in animal husbandry has long been associated with the appearance of antibiotic resistance and virulence factor determinants. Nonetheless, the number of cases of human infection involving resistant or virulent microorganisms that originate in farms is increasing. While many antibiotics have been banned as dietary supplements in some countries, other additives thought to be innocuous in terms of the development and spread of antibiotic resistance are used as growth promoters. In fact, several clay materials are routinely added to animal feed with the aim of improving growth and animal product quality. However, recent findings suggest that sepiolite, a clay additive, mediates the direct transfer of plasmids between different bacterial species. We therefore hypothesize that clays present in animal feed facilitate the horizontal transfer of resistance determinants in the digestive tract of farm animals. View Full-Text
Keywords: antimicrobial; antibiotic resistance; horizontal gene transfer; virulence factor; clay; sepiolite antimicrobial; antibiotic resistance; horizontal gene transfer; virulence factor; clay; sepiolite
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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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Rodríguez-Rojas, A.; Rodríguez-Beltrán, J.; Valverde, J.R.; Blázquez, J. Can Clays in Livestock Feed Promote Antibiotic Resistance and Virulence in Pathogenic Bacteria? Antibiotics 2015, 4, 299-308.

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