Functional characterization of the antibiotic resistance reservoir in the human microflora

Morten O.A. Sommer, Gautam Dantas, George M. Church

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

494 Scopus citations

Abstract

To understand the process by which antibiotic resistance genes are acquired by human pathogens, we functionally characterized the resistance reservoir in the microbial flora of healthy individuals. Most of the resistance genes we identified using culture-independent sampling have not been previously identified and are evolutionarily distant from known resistance genes. By contrast, nearly half of the resistance genes we identified in cultured aerobic gut isolates (a small subset of the gut microbiome) are identical to resistance genes harbored by major pathogens. The immense diversity of resistance genes in the human microbiome could contribute to future emergence of antibiotic resistance in human pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1128-1131
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume325
Issue number5944
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 7 2009

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