Bacteria Can Transfer Genes to Other Bacteria

Posted on February 25, 2008  Comments (2)

From page 115 of Good Gems, Bad Germs:

Microbiologists of the 1950’s did not appreciate the stunning extent to which bacteria swap genes… In 1959 Japanese hospitals experience outbreaks of multidrug-resistant bacterial dysentery. The shigella bacteria, which caused the outbreaks, were shrugging off four different classes of previously effective antibiotics: sulfonamides, streptomycins, chloramphenicols, and tetracyclines… In fact, the Japanese researches found it quite easy to transfer multidrug resistance from E. coli to shingella and back again simply by mixing resistant and susceptible strains together in a test tube.

Related: Blocking Bacteria From Passing Genes to Other BacteriaBacteria generous with their genesDisrupting the Replication of Bacteriaarticles on the overuse of anti-bioticsRaised Without Antibiotics

2 Responses to “Bacteria Can Transfer Genes to Other Bacteria”

  1. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Bacteria Survive On All Antibiotic Diet
    April 5th, 2008 @ 1:16 pm

    “The bacteria didn’t just survive in the antibiotics, they consumed them… and found that every site contained bacteria, including relatives of Shigella and the notorious E. coli that could survive solely on antibiotics…”

  2. Curious Cat Science Blog » Genes Counter a Bacterial Attack
    November 16th, 2008 @ 12:05 pm

    “Yet some people are resistant: they become infected but not ill. Wiersinga found a genetic cause for this resistance. He discovered which toll receptor can fend off B. pseudomallei…”

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