What if it’s not actually the overuse of antibiotics which has led to the drug-resistant strains of diseases, but rather, gene transfer and genetic engineering?

Such a consideration sort of makes the whole thing a little more dark and ominous, no? When man tampers with the building blocks of God’s creation, excuse me, I meant when man practices genetic engineering, there arises the necessity to specifically design carriers that can survive the cross over between various species.

The Olivet Discourse warns that there will be a rise in plagues in the period of birth pangs before the end of the age.  Here is where scripture meets hard scientific fact!

New Diseases 1978-1998 (source)

1977:    Legionella pneumophila, potentially fatal Legionnaires’ disease
1977:    Ebola virus, hemorrhagic fever – fatal in up to 80% of cases.
1977:    Hantaan virus, potentially fatal hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome.
1977:    Campylobacter jejuni, diarrhea.
1980:    Human T-lymphotropic virus I (HTLV-1), T-cell lymphoma-leukemia
1981:    Staphylococcus aureus, bacteria, toxic shock syndrome
1982:    Escherichia coli O157:H7, bacteria, bloody diarrh0ea
1982:    HTLV-2 virus, hairy cell leukemia
1983:    Helicobacter pylori, bacteria, peptic ulcer disease and stomach cancer.
1983:    Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), AIDS.
1985:    Enterocytozoon bieneusi, parasite, persistent diarrhea
1986:    Cyclospora cayetanensis, parasite, persistent diarrhea
1988:    Hepatitis E virus, epidemics of jaundice in hot climates
1988:    Human herpesvirus 6, fever and rash
1988:    Salmonella typimurium, bacteria, diarrhea
1989:    Hepatitis C virus, which causes liver cancer as well as liver disease.
1989:    Ehrlichia chafeensis, bacteria, infection
1991:    Guanarito virus, Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever.
1991:    Encephalitozoon hellem, parasite, conjunctivitis
1991:    New species of Babesia, parasite, infection
1992:    New strain Vibrio cholerae O139, epidemic cholera.
1992:    Bartonella henselae, bacteria, cat-scratch disease, bacillus angiomatosis
1993:    Sin Nombre virus, adult respiratory distress syndrome
1993:    Encephalitozoon cuniculi, parasite, disseminated disease
1994:    Sabia virus, which causes Brazilian hemorrhagic fever
1994:    Equine morbilivirus, respiratory illness
1995:    Human herpesvirus 8, Kaposiþs sarcoma in AIDS patients.
1995:    New monkey pox virus, human-to-human transmission, potentially fatal
1996:    New rabies in Australia 1996: New hantavirus, human-to-human transmission

Gene Ecology, or the way that genes function, move, recombine and interact with the organism, is an area of research that is still in relative infancy, but it has determined that RNA and DNA can sometimes transfer “horizontally” and externally, as opposed to only through reproduction.  Of course, this horizontal transfer is a manipulation of nature by man, but still, it is a revolutionary discovery.  Scientists have created all sorts of these “vectors” or means of transfer, whose sole purpose is to break down the protective mechanisms and barriers of the genes, in order to create inter-species combinations or genetic chimeras.  Thus the natural and God-designed “ecology” of the gene world has been seriously disturbed in the name of genetic “research” (i.e. engineering).

Natural “horizontal transfer” of genetic material takes place via replication as in viruses, plasmids and transposons.

Genetic engineering biotechnology breaks down species barriers (source)

ONE main contributing factor to the recent increase in the scope and frequency of horizontal gene transfer may be the deliberate acts of genetic engineers to break down species barriers. They do so by constructing a range of chimeric vectors for cloning and transferring genes. These artificial vectors have the following important characteristics that enhance horizontal gene transfer.

  • They are already derived from elements that mediate horizontal gene transfer most effectively.
  • Their chimeric nature means that they possess sequence homologies to DNA from widely different species and their viral pathogens, plasmids and trans-posons, thus facilitating successful horizontal transfer and recombination.
  • They routinely contain antibiotic resistance marker genes enhancing their successful transfer in the presence of antibiotics, either intentionally applied or as xenobiotics in the environment.
  • They often have origins of replication and transfer sequences, all of which facilitate horizontal gene transfer and recombination. In this context, the fact that they are ‘crippled’, so that genes for mobility and/or virulence are removed, is irrelevant, as helper functions can be supplied by other viruses, plasmids and mobile genetic elements present in the donor, recipient or a third strain of bacteria. And virulence genes can be regained by recombination.
  • It is well-known that chimaeric plasmids and viral vectors are subject to structural instabilities which make them more prone to recombine. Vector instability is a continuing problem for genetic engineers and the biotech industry as far as the stability of the transferred genes is concerned. It also increases the probability and scope for unintended, secondary horizontal gene transfer.
  • The now routine incorporation of strong promoters and enhancers in vectors to boost expression of transgenes is one main cause of structural instability, which is in addition to the instability arising from the attendant metabolic stress to the organism that, again, may increase unintended horizontal gene transfer.
  • Finally, vectors are designed to escape restriction thereby also enhancing the probability of successful horizontal gene transfer.

The construction of artificial vectors is fundamental to genetic engineering. All classes of genetic elements that mediate horizontal gene transfer have been used in constructing vectors: plasmids, phages, transposons, plus a range of pathogenic plant and animal viruses. As stated in a standard textbook on genetic manipulation, ‘Many animal viruses have been subjugated as vectors. Virtually every virus that has been studied in any detail and that has a DNA genome or a DNA stage in its replication cycle has been manipulated in this way.’

Although different classes of vectors are distinguishable on the basis of the main framework sequence, practically every one of them is chimeric. Important chimeric vectors are the shuttle vectors which enable genes to be cloned (multiplied) in E. coli and transferred (transfected) into unrelated species in every Kingdom. Similarly, vectors used in manipulating plants and animals typically contain sequences from a range of plant and animal viral pathogens, as well as antibiotic resistance genes, often originating from promiscuous resistance plasmids and transposons. Phage vectors and phasmid vectors (hybrid of phage and plasmid) are also extensively used, and may have special relevance for the evolution of pathogenicity islands in bacterial pathogens.

Thus, genetic engineering biotechnology has effectively opened up highways for horizontal gene transfer and recombination, where previously, there was only restricted access through narrow, tortuous footpaths. These gene transfer highways connect species in every Domain and Kingdom with the microbial populations via the universal mixing vessel, E. coli. We review further circumstantial evidence that artificial gene transfer vectors increase the scope and frequency of horizontal gene transfer. -End

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Further Shekinah commentary:

That’s a lot of scientific gobbety-gook which, as a former nurse, I know is appealing and understandable to some, and a total bore to others.  The gist of it is this: When man monkeys around with God’s design, chaos and disorder ensues.  It is not the patient’s insistence on antibiotics, nor the doctor’s over-prescribing of antibiotics, but the scientists manipulation of the biology of genes, which has resulted in not only the microbes resistance to antibiotics, but a resurgence of formerly nearly- eradicated strains to these “epidemic” proportions.  It is mankind, reaping the fruit of their doings.