Distribution of tetracycline and erythromycin resistance genes among human oral and fecal metagenomic DNA

Microb Drug Resist. 2009 Sep;15(3):159-66. doi: 10.1089/mdr.2009.0916.


We have analyzed the total metagenomic DNA from both human oral and fecal samples derived from healthy volunteers from six European countries to determine the molecular basis for tetracycline and erythromycin resistance. We have determined that tet(M) and tet(W) are the most prevalent tetracycline resistance genes assayed for in the oral and fecal metagenomes, respectively. Additionally, tet(Q), tet(O), and tet(O/32/O) have been shown to be common. We have also shown that erm(B), erm(V), and erm(E) are common erythromycin resistance genes present in these environments. Further, we have demonstrated the ubiquitous presence of the Tn916 integrase in the oral metagenomes and the Tn4451 and Tn1549 integrase genes within the fecal metagenomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis*
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial / genetics
  • Erythromycin / pharmacology*
  • Feces / chemistry*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Saliva / chemistry*
  • Saliva / microbiology
  • Tetracycline Resistance / genetics*
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Erythromycin