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Pathogens 2014, 3(2), 238-248; doi:10.3390/pathogens3020238

Integrons in the Intestinal Microbiota as Reservoirs for Transmission of Antibiotic Resistance Genes

1
Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food science department (IKBM), Campus Ås, Ås 1432, Norway
2
Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Department of Food Safety and Infection Biology, Campus Adamstuen, Oslo 0454, Norway
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 December 2013 / Revised: 13 March 2014 / Accepted: 13 March 2014 / Published: 31 March 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gut Microbiome)
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Abstract

The human intestinal microbiota plays a major beneficial role in immune development and resistance to pathogens. The use of antibiotics, however, can cause the spread of antibiotic resistance genes within the resident intestinal microbiota. Important vectors for this are integrons. This review therefore focuses on the integrons in non-pathogenic bacteria as a potential source for the development and persistence of multidrug resistance. Integrons are a group of genetic elements which are assembly platforms that can capture specific gene cassettes and express them. Integrons in pathogenic bacteria have been extensively investigated, while integrons in the intestinal microbiota have not yet gained much attention. Knowledge of the integrons residing in the microbiota, however, can potentially aid in controlling the spread of antibiotic resistance genes to pathogens.
Keywords: microbiota; antibiotic resistance genes; integrons; commensal flora microbiota; antibiotic resistance genes; integrons; commensal flora
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ravi, A.; Avershina, E.; Ludvigsen, J.; L'Abée-Lund, T.M.; Rudi, K. Integrons in the Intestinal Microbiota as Reservoirs for Transmission of Antibiotic Resistance Genes. Pathogens 2014, 3, 238-248.

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