A survey on antimicrobial resistance genes of frequently used probiotic bacteria, 1901 to 2022

  08 April 2023

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) challenges treating infections. In bacteria, AMR relies on antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), some of which can be mobile. In certain conditions, bacteria with mobile ARGs may transfer their ARGs to other bacteria. If bacteria with mobile ARGs are in food, they may upon ingestion pass on these ARGs to the bacteria that are present in the digestive tract of humans. 

Eating foods that contain bacteria with mobile ARGs may allow such bacteria to come near other bacteria found in the human body. This proximity could facilitate mobile ARGs’ transfer from the food bacteria to other bacteria in the gut, even pathogenic ones. While acquiring mobile ARGs does not always confer AMR, extending current recommendations to detect potential functional traits of concern in bacteria used for food might be considered, with screening for mobile ARGs in probiotic bacteria.

Further reading: Eurosurveillance
Author(s): Adrienn Gréta Tóth et al
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