Papers And Originals

Antibiotic resistance and survival of E coli in the alimentary tract

Br Med J 1975; 4 doi: (Published 11 October 1975) Cite this as: Br Med J 1975;4:71
  1. C L Hartley,
  2. M H Richmond


    Some antibiotics tend to select for R-factor-carrying Escherichia coli in the human gut, with complex long-term consequences. Some resistant strains disappear rapidly when treatment ends, while others persist for months in the absence of obvious antibiotic selection pressure, and the performance of individual resistant strains seems to depend more on the nature of the strain than on the plasmid carried. R plasmids are relatively rare in those E coli that colonize well in the gut and resistant bacteria therefore tend to disappear when treatment ends, but this situation could change dramatically if R plasmids became prevalent among those strains of E coli that colonize effectively.