Development of bacterial resistance to antibiotics is a growing problem in the world. The national strategy of the Norwegian government against antibiotic resistance for 2015-2020 highlights that this issue must be considered in a holistic perspective, where human and animal health and the environment interact and must be seen in context to each other.
The presence of resistant bacteria in different natural environments, such as soil, fresh water, sea sediments and wild animals, has only been sporadically studied, although they may contribute to the development of resistance of clinical importance. There is therefore a need for more knowledge about antibiotic-resistant bacteria in different natural environments in general and in Norway in particular. The national strategy is based on the report “Antibiotikaresistenskunnskapshull og aktuelle tiltak (2014)” prepared by an expert group. In this report, the need to assess the risk of a possible deliberate release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) with antibiotic resistance marker genes (ARMG) is identified as one of the areas where more information is necessary.