The project has investigated the natural occurrence of two antibiotic resistance marker genes (ARMG) – neomycin phosphotransferase II (nptII) and neomycin phosphotransferase III (nptIII) in selected environments in Norway. Three different agricultural fields in Tromsø differing in exposure to manure were analyzed in addition to samples of soil and faeces taken from four different pig farms in the Tromsø area of Northern Norway. In total, seven sampling sites were analyzed, three from agriculture fields and four from pig farms.
Although a small overall number of environmental samples have been tested, the results indicate that the prevalence of nptII and nptIII genes in local environments in Tromsø is very low and below the detection limit of the methods used. It is noted that sampling was done over a limited time. The low prevalence of these specific genes in the tested environments suggests that the introduction of external sources of such genes, including ARM genes present in GM plants, may add new genetic sources of such resistance determinants to environments in Norway.
Contact person: Lise Nordgård