New genes give gut bacteria antibiotic resistance

Study also finds that the same genes can lead to resistance when inserted into E. coli

By Jenny Lauren Lee, 14:35 PM August 27, 2009

The human gut is a reservoir of antibiotic resistance. And the bacteria residing there could bequeath their gift of resistance  to more harmful microbes under the right conditions, researchers report in the August 28 Science.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School have found more resistance genes in indigenous gut bacteria than were known to exist. So far, the team has identified more than a hundred new genes conferring resistance to up to 13 antibiotics. All of these genes retain that role ...

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