The Threat of Antimicrobial Resistance on the Human Microbiome

Lauren Brinkac, Alexander Voorhies, Andres Gomez, Karen E. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Ubiquitous in nature, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has existed long before the golden age of antimicrobials. While antimicrobial agents are beneficial to combat infection, their widespread use contributes to the increase in and emergence of novel resistant microbes in virtually all environmental niches. The human microbiome is an important reservoir of AMR with initial exposure occurring in early life. Once seeded with AMR, commensal organisms may be key contributors to the dissemination of resistance due to the interconnectedness of microbial communities. When acquired by pathogens however, AMR becomes a serious public health threat worldwide. Our ability to combat the threat of emerging resistance relies on accurate AMR detection methods and the development of therapeutics that function despite the presence of antimicrobial resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1001-1008
Number of pages8
JournalMicrobial ecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding This project has been funded in whole or part with federal funds from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Award Number U19AI110819.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Human microbiome


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