The gut resistome is highly dynamic during the first months of life

Christian J. H. von Wintersdorff, Petra F. G. Wolffs, Paul H. M. Savelkoul, Rianne R. R. Nijsen, Susanne Lau, Kerstin Gerhold, Eckard Hamelmann, John Penders*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Web of Science)


Aim: We investigated the longitudinal development of several antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) of the infant gut resistome during the first months after birth. Materials & methods: Fecal samples from 120 infants collected at the ages of 5, 13 and 31 weeks were analyzed and subjected to qPCR for the detection of several ARGs. Results: The prevalence of ARGs significantly increased for ermB, tetM and tetQ, while it decreased for aac(6')-aph(2'). Birth mode and breastfeeding significantly affected tetQ prevalence. Correlations to bacterial taxa suggest that fluctuations in some ARGs are (partly) attributed to shifts in bacteroides colonization rates. Conclusion: Acquisition of ARGs in the gut microbiota occurs shortly after birth and resistome composition fluctuates over the course of several months, reflecting changes in microbial community structure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-510
Number of pages10
JournalFuture Microbiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • antibiotic resistance gene
  • bacteroides
  • birth mode
  • breastfeeding
  • gut microbiota
  • infant
  • metagenome
  • microbiome
  • pediatric
  • resistomes

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