The commensal infant gut meta-mobilome as a potential reservoir for persistent multidrug resistance integrons

Sci Rep. 2015 Oct 28;5:15317. doi: 10.1038/srep15317.


Despite the accumulating knowledge on the development and establishment of the gut microbiota, its role as a reservoir for multidrug resistance is not well understood. This study investigated the prevalence and persistence patterns of an integrase gene (int1), used as a proxy for integrons (which often carry multiple antimicrobial resistance genes), in the fecal microbiota of 147 mothers and their children sampled longitudinally from birth to 2 years. The study showed the int1 gene was detected in 15% of the study population, and apparently more persistent than the microbial community structure itself. We found int1 to be persistent throughout the first two years of life, as well as between mothers and their 2-year-old children. Metagenome sequencing revealed integrons in the gut meta-mobilome that were associated with plasmids and multidrug resistance. In conclusion, the persistent nature of integrons in the infant gut microbiota makes it a potential reservoir of mobile multidrug resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / genetics*
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Integrases / genetics*
  • Integrons*
  • Pregnancy
  • Symbiosis*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Integrases