Antibiotics and Resistance in the Environment

  • Marilyn C. RobertsEmail author
Part of the Emerging Infectious Diseases of the 21st Century book series (EIDC)


Antibiotic use has steadily increased since these agents were introduced in the 1940s. Millions of metric tons of antibiotics have been produced and used worldwide, which has led to contamination of both natural and man-made environments. Antibiotics are used on domestic animals, aquacultured fish, crops, and man. Because of the widespread use of antibiotics, wildlife is exposed either directly or indirectly through contamination of their food. This widespread contamination by antibiotics and their residues has influenced and selected for increasing numbers of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and antibiotic-resistant genes over time. It is widely recognized that a global “One Health” approach is needed to understand how antibiotic-resistant bacteria and resistance genes spread among and between animals, humans, and the environment.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, School of Public HealthUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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