Summary of a Scientific Article

It has been established that disease causing micro-organisms may acquire resistance to the antibiotics like penicillin through the exchange of the DNA with the risk-free bacteria that resides in the human gut. In effect, the antibiotics may not be effective on the antibiotics-resistance genes.
This paper would summarize the functional characterization of the Antibiotic Resistance Reservoir in the Human Micro-flora as presented in a study by Morten O. A. Sommer, Gautam Dantas, and George M. Church.

In the past few decades, multiple antibiotic resistances have been discovered posing a great challenge on the treatment of bacterial infections. Whole-genome sequences of the bacteria has indicated that most of the resistance genes affected by these strains did not evolve in the sequenced strain but instead they were gotten from lateral gene transfer events, (Sommer, Dantas,  Church, Para 1). The human micro-biome has a substantial impact on the health of individual playing crucial roles in the digestion process and in prevention of pathogenic intrusion. Sommer, Dantas,  Church conducted a research to establish the existence of resistance genes in the gut bacteria. The research used samples from the feces and saliva from two healthy individuals allowing the bacteria to develop in environments with common antibiotics. The bacteria were found to exchange the genetic makeup between them suggesting that resistance can also be transferable. A small sub-set of bacteria in the elementary canal was found to harbor resistance genes similar to those found in the pathogens (Lee, Para 8).

Though some of the bacteria were found to be able to transfer genes between themselves, scientists are yet to find hard evidence on the allegation that harmless bacteria found in the gut can pass the antibiotic resistance to pathogens. However, revelation that increased use of antibiotics as medicine and in agricultural practices is likely to induce significant responsive alterations in the DNA of the micro-biomes is something worthy pondering about.


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