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 when inserted into E. coli bacteria, the authors say.