In mBio this week: some interesting news about horizontal gene transfer on surfaces. E. coli and Klebsiella strains with antibiotic resistance genes not only survive for weeks on dry stainless steel surfaces, they share their resistance genes instantly. But put those same bacteria on a copper alloy surface? “Rapid death, inhibition of respiration, and destruction of genomic and plasmid DNA of both pathogens,” write the authors.
They conclude, "The use of copper alloys in clinical and community settings could help reduce infection spread and also reduce the incidence of horizontal transmission genes conferring drug resistance, virulence, and pathogenesis and expression efficiency."