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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Emergence of methicillin resistance predates the clinical use of antibiotics

Larsen, Jesper; Raisen, Claire L.; Ba, Xiaoliang; Sadgrove, Nicholas J.; Padilla-Gonzalez, Guillermo F.; Simmonds, Monique S. J.; Loncaric, Igor; Kerschner, Heidrun; Apfalter, Petra; Hartl, Rainer; Deplano, Ariane; Vandendriessche, Stien; Bolfikova, Barbora Cerna; Hulva, Pavel; Arendrup, Maiken C.; Hare, Rasmus K.; Barnadas, Celine; Stegger, Marc; Sieber, Raphael N.; Skov, Robert L.;
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Abstract

The discovery of antibiotics more than 80 years ago has led to considerable improvements in human and animal health. Although antibiotic resistance in environmental bacteria is ancient, resistance in human pathogens is thought to be a modern phenomenon that is driven by the clinical use of antibiotics(1). Here we show that particular lineages of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus-a notorious human pathogen-appeared in European hedgehogs in the pre-antibiotic era. Subsequently, these lineages spread within the local hedgehog populations and between hedgehogs and secondary hosts, including livestock and humans. We also demonstrate that the hedgehog dermatophyte Trichophyton erinacei produces two beta-lactam antibiotics that provide a natural selective environment in which methicillin-resistant S. aureus isolates have an advantage over susceptible isolates. Together, these results suggest that methicillin resistance emerged in the pre-antibiotic era as a co-evolutionary adaptation of S. aureus to the colonization of dermatophyte-infected hedgehogs. The evolution of clinically relevant antibiotic-resistance genes in wild animals and the connectivity of natural, agricultural and human ecosystems demonstrate that the use of a One Health approach is critical for our understanding and management of antibiotic resistance, which is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security and development.

Published in

Nature

2022, volume: 602, number: 7895, pages: 135-141
Publisher: NATURE PORTFOLIO

Authors' information

Larsen, Jesper
Statens Serum Institut
Raisen, Claire L.
University of Cambridge
Ba, Xiaoliang
University of Cambridge
Sadgrove, Nicholas J.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Padilla-Gonzalez, Guillermo F.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Simmonds, Monique S. J.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Loncaric, Igor
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna
Deplano, Ariane
Universite Libre de Bruxelles
Vandendriessche, Stien
Ghent University Hospital
Vandendriessche, Stien
Universite Libre de Bruxelles
Bolfikova, Barbora Cerna
Czech University of Life Sciences Prague
Hulva, Pavel
Charles University Prague
Hulva, Pavel
University of Ostrava
Arendrup, Maiken C.
Statens Serum Institut
Hare, Rasmus K.
Statens Serum Institut
Barnadas, Celine
Statens Serum Institut
Barnadas, Celine
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
Stegger, Marc
Statens Serum Institut
Sieber, Raphael N.
Statens Serum Institut
Skov, Robert L.
Statens Serum Institut
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Sustainable Development Goals

SDG3 Good health and wellbeing

UKÄ Subject classification

Clinical Science

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-04265-w

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/115381