Copper can suppress the spread of antibiotic resistance genes

Farewell and co-workers at CMB have shown that copper can suppress the spread of antibiotic resistance genes. This effect was specifically seen in a particular transmissible plasmid type with copper but not other heavy metals. Future work will examine other types of plasmids. This is an important finding because heavy metals like copper are used extensively as antibacterials and its effect on the transmission is controversial.


Palm M, Fransson A, Hultén J, Búcaro Stenman K, Allouche A, Chiang OE, Constandse ML, van Dijk KJ, Icli S, Klimesova B, Korhonen E, Martínez-Crespo G, Meggers D, Naydenova M, Polychronopoulou MA, Schuntermann DB, Unal H, Wasylkowska A, Farewell A. (2022). The Effect of Heavy Metals on Conjugation Efficiency of an F-Plasmid in Escherichia coli. Antibiotics (Basel). 11:1123. doi: 10.3390/antibiotics11081123