Identifying Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance Markers in gut microbes

Ian Lamb, Manolito Torralba

J. Craig Venter Institute, La Jolla, CA

The gut microbiome plays a critical role in our health and well-being, but it also facilitates sharing of antibiotic resistance genes. However, antibiotic resistance genes can be identified by distinct markers which we screen in this study. Plasmids pTRACA18, pTRACA20, and pTRACA22 were chosen since they have demonstrated to be present in many gut microbes. This in turn allows the bacteria to spread antibiotic resistance genes to each other through conjugation and other forms of gene transfer. For the study, stool samples were used from a Malian tribe, which we extracted DNA from and screened for presence of plasmids through PCR. When the amplicons were screened, we determined that the amount of anti-microbial plasmids are sporadic because within each individual there are differing levels of abundance for each plasmid due to varying gut microbiomes.

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