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. 2012 Nov 27;1(1):39.
doi: 10.1186/2047-2994-1-39.

The Gut Is the Epicentre of Antibiotic Resistance

Free PMC article

The Gut Is the Epicentre of Antibiotic Resistance

Jean Carlet. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. .
Free PMC article


The gut contains very large numbers of bacteria. Changes in the composition of the gut flora, due in particular to antibiotics, can happen silently, leading to the selection of highly resistant bacteria and Candida species. These resistant organisms may remain for months in the gut of the carrier without causing any symptoms or translocate through the gut epithelium, induce healthcare-associated infections, undergo cross-transmission to other individuals, and cause limited outbreaks. Techniques are available to prevent, detect, and treat the carriage of resistant organisms in the gut. However, evidence on these techniques is scant, the only exception being selective digestive decontamination (SDD), which has been extensively studied in neutropenic and ICU patients. After the destruction of resistant colonizing bacteria, which has been successfully obtained in several studies, the gut could be re-colonized with normal faecal flora or probiotics. Studies are warranted to evaluate this concept.

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