Chapter 34 : Antimicrobial Resistance, Gut Microbiota, and Health

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The rapid surge of antibiotic resistance has raised serious public health concerns and led to the enforcement of policies to limit the uses of antibiotics in food animal production and human medicine. However, recent scientific breakthroughs present a much more comprehensive picture of antibiotic resistance ecology. The identification of new risk factors in antibiotic resistance development, enrichment, dissemination, and persistence demands innovative strategies for effective mitigation. This chapter discusses important concepts as well as major shifts in research scope and methods based on microbiota instead of individual pathogens. The chapter also discusses corresponding findings on the abundance of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and resistance-encoding genes in the food chain, the major avenues of dissemination of antibiotic-resistant bacteria to hosts through food and feed, mechanisms of antibiotic resistance and persistence, and the impact of antibiotic administration on resistance ecology, gut microbiota, and modern diseases. Discoveries related to foodborne antibiotic-resistant pathogens are illustrated. Specifically, the chapter examines the mainstream practice of oral antibiotic administration in both food animal production and human medicine as a key driver for massive antibiotic resistance in the ecosystem and gut microbiota dysbiosis in animal and human hosts. These breakthroughs in knowledge have laid a solid foundation for targeted controls and opened the doors for innovative and effective mitigation of the major challenges of antibiotic resistance and modern diseases associated with gut microbiota dysbiosis. Future directions for research and paradigm changes in policy and practices in the food chain essential to improve food safety and human health are outlined.

Citation: Wang H, Zhou Y, Zhang L. 2019. Antimicrobial Resistance, Gut Microbiota, and Health, p 903-926. In Doyle M, Diez-Gonzalez F, Hill C (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, 5th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819972.ch34
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Figure 34.1

Flow of ART microorganisms from farm to fork. CCP, critical control point for mitigation.

Citation: Wang H, Zhou Y, Zhang L. 2019. Antimicrobial Resistance, Gut Microbiota, and Health, p 903-926. In Doyle M, Diez-Gonzalez F, Hill C (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, 5th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819972.ch34
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