Resistance in Reservoirs and Human Commensals

  • Michael Feldgarden


The role of commensal bacteria in the spread of antibiotic resistance is recognized as a vital component in understanding how to preserve the power of antibiotics. Excepting tuberculosis, the majority of bacterially caused illness results from infection by commensal organisms, such as Escherichia coli, streptococci, and staphylococci. Thus, better knowledge of the biology of antibiotic resistance in commensal bacteria is a crucial component to treating these life-threatening diseases. The two roles that commensal bacteria play as reservoirs of antibiotic resistance genes and as drug-resistant opportunistic pathogens are discussed. Then, the patterns of resistance in commensal E. coli in the developing world are surveyed. Finally, various methods for studying antibiotic resistance are discussed, along with project design to determine the effects of commensals on resistance in clinical isolates.


Antibiotic Resistance Horizontal Gene Transfer Resistance Locus Opportunistic Pathogen Antibiotic Resistance Gene 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported in part by The Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics (NIH grant no. U24 AI 050139).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics; Genome Sequencing and Analysis Program, The Broad InstituteBostonUSA

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