Bacteria of different genera isolated at nine medical centers in different parts of the United States and at one center in Venezuela during the first decade of gentamicin usage carried the gentamicin resistance gene 2"-aminoglycoside nucleotidyltransferase on the same transferable plasmid. Such widespread dissemination of a newly observed resistance gene on one plasmid suggests that a new resistance gene may emerge once on a single plasmid, which then carries it to other centers and other plasmids. The resistance gene might, therefore, be contained if detected early.

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