Hiding in plain sight—wildlife as a neglected reservoir and pathway for the spread of antimicrobial resistance: a narrative review Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Abstract Antimicrobial resistance represents a global health problem, with infections due to pathogenic antimicrobial resistant bacteria (ARB) predicted to be the most frequent cause of human mortality by 2050. The phenomenon of antimicrobial resistance has spread to and across all ecological niches, and particularly in livestock used for food production with antimicrobials consumed in high volumes. Similarly, hospitals and other healthcare facilities are recognized as significant ‘hotspots’ of ARB and antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs); however, over the past decade, new and previously overlooked ecological niches are emerging as hidden reservoirs of ARB/ARGs. Increasingly extensive and intensive industrial activities, degradation of natural environments, burgeoning food requirements, urbanization, and global climatic change have all dramatically affected the evolution and proliferation of ARB/ARGs, which now stand at extremely concerning ecological levels. While antimicrobial resistant bacteria and genes as they originate and emanate from livestock and human hosts have been extensively studied over the past 30 years, numerous ecological niches have received considerably less attention. In the current descriptive review, the authors have sought to highlight the importance of wildlife as sources/reservoirs, pathways and receptors of ARB/ARGs in the environment, thus paving the way for future primary research in these areas.


  • Abbassi, Mohamed Salah
  • Badi, Souhir
  • Lengliz, Sana
  • Mansouri, Riadh
  • Salah, Hammami
  • Hynds, Paul

publication date

  • May 20, 2022