Dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes in commensal Escherichia coli


This project will examine the Escherichia coli present in the gut of healthy adults who have not been recently exposed to antibiotics to determine the prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacteria and which resistance genes and plasmids are present.


Professor Ruth Hall

Research Location

School of Molecular Bioscience

Program Type



A number of studies indicate that antibiotic resistance may have become endemic in some bacteria that are normally associated with healthy humans and animals and this can increase the likelihood that bacteria causing infectious diseases will likewise become resistant and hence more difficult to treat.  However, there is very little information on the situation in Australia. In this project, the prevalence of antibiotic resistant and multiply antibiotic resistant E. coli in the gut of healthy humans will be examined.  The different types of resistant bacteria present in individuals and the variety seen in the population as a whole will be examined using a variety of microbiological and molecular techniques that identify individual resistance genes as well a clusters of two or more resistance genes.  The ability of the resistance genes to spread into new bacterial hosts will also be examined.  The information gained will serve both to inform us about the Australian situation and will also serve as standards for comparison with bacteria and resistance genes isolated from other sources such as animals, food (both meat and vegetables) and the environment.

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Antibiotic resistance, Infectious diseases, microbiology, molecular biology, microbial genetics, Cell biology, Genes in biology & medicine, Infection & immunity

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 113