The genes which cause bacteria to become immune to medication – antibiotic resistant genes (ARGs) – are able to move between different bacteria and also from bacteria into the environment, experts say.
And research by the American Chemical Society revealed scientists have found the airborne genes in farms and parks in America.
Antibiotic resistance is a spreading global problem which means once easily-treatable infections could become superbugs that cannot be cured.
Figures estimate these superbugs – which develop from people overusing or wrongly using antibiotics – will kill 10 million people a year by 2050.
The World Health Organisation has warned the world could enter a ‘post-antibiotic’ era in which medicines no longer work as bacteria become tougher and tougher.