Antimicrobial Activity of Metals and Metalloids
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AuthorLi, Yuan Ping; Ben Fekih, Ibtissem; Chi Fru, Ernest; Moraleda Muñoz, Aurelio; Li, Xuanji; Rosen, Barry P; Yoshinaga, Masafumi; Rensing, Christopher
Li, Y.P. et al. Antimicrobial Activity of Metals and Metalloids. Annu. Rev. Microbiol. 2021. 75:X–X
SponsorshipBFU2016-75425-P (70% FEDER), PID2020-112634GB-I00
Competition shapes evolution. Toxic metals and metalloids have exerted selective pressure on life since the rise of the first organisms on the Earth, which has led to the evolution and acquisition of resistance mechanisms against them, as well as mechanisms to weaponize them. Microorganisms exploit antimicrobial metals and metalloids to gain competitive advantage over other members of microbial communities. This exerts a strong selective pressure that drives evolution of resistance. This review describes, with a focus on arsenic and copper, how microorganisms exploit metals and metalloids for predation and how metal- and metalloid-dependent predation may have been a driving force for evolution of microbial resistance against metals and metalloids.