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Horizontal gene transfer in the human gastrointestinal tract: potential spread of antibiotic resistance genes

Authors Huddleston JR

Received 2 March 2014

Accepted for publication 29 April 2014

Published 20 June 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 167—176

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IDR.S48820

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Jennifer R Huddleston

Biology Department, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX, USA

Abstract: Bacterial infections are becoming increasingly difficult to treat due to widespread antibiotic resistance among pathogens. This review aims to give an overview of the major horizontal transfer mechanisms and their evolution and then demonstrate the human lower gastrointestinal tract as an environment in which horizontal gene transfer of resistance determinants occurs. Finally, implications for antibiotic usage and the development of resistant infections and persistence of antibiotic resistance genes in populations as a result of horizontal gene transfer in the large intestine will be discussed.

Keywords: gut microbiome, conjugation, natural transformation, transduction

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