A team of scientists in Canada have identified the gene in salmonella responsible for antibiotic resistance. The gene was named fosA7 due to its resistance to the antibiotic fosfomycin. Fosfomycin is an important antibiotic that is used to treat a wide range of bacterial diseases.
FosA7 is not in every strain of salmonella, but was found in strains in broiler house chickens in British Columbia and also in three other salmonella serotypes in Agona, Montevideo and Tenn, according to the Center for Infection Disease Research and Policy.
The resistant gene is being studied more to determine if it can be transferred to other salmonella bacteria. If it can be, scientists believe it will become a major concern in the medical community.
“(Fosfomycin) is an important antibiotic.” Moussa Diarra, research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, said. Diarra said that if the gene can spread to other salmonella and other bacteria then treatment will be difficult.
The good news is that identifying the gene is the first step to finding solutions to the problem. Reducing the use of antibiotics is always recommended because if the bacteria are not exposed to the drugs then there will be less of a chance of the pathogens developing immunity.