Horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance genes in the human gut microbiome

Ross S McInnes, Gregory E McCallum, Lisa E Lamberte, Willem van Schaik

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
1198 Downloads (Pure)


Infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a major threat to public health. The pathogens causing these infections can acquire antibiotic resistance genes in a process termed horizontal gene transfer (HGT). HGT is a common event in the human gut microbiome, that is, the microbial ecosystem of the human intestinal tract. HGT in the gut microbiome can occur via different mechanisms of which transduction and conjugation have been best characterised. Novel bioinformatic tools and experimental approaches have been developed to determine the association of antibiotic resistance genes with their microbial hosts and to quantify the extent of HGT in the gut microbiome. Insights from studies into HGT in the gut microbiome may lead to the development of novel interventions to minimise the spread of antibiotic resistance genes among commensals and opportunistic pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-43
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance genes in the human gut microbiome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this