Send to

Choose Destination
Environ Microbiol. 2018 Jun;20(6):2288-2300. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.14276. Epub 2018 Aug 7.

ACI-1 beta-lactamase is widespread across human gut microbiomes in Negativicutes due to transposons harboured by tailed prophages.

Author information

Department of Genetic Medicine and Development, University of Geneva Medical School and Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Geneva, Switzerland.
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Federal Research and Clinical Center of Physical-Chemical Medicine, Moscow, Russian Federation.
KU Leuven, Department of Biosystems, Laboratory of Gene Technology, Leuven, Belgium.


Antibiotic resistance is increasing among pathogens, and the human microbiome contains a reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes. Acidaminococcus intestini is the first Negativicute bacterium (Gram-negative Firmicute) shown to be resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics. Resistance is conferred by the aci1 gene, but its evolutionary history and prevalence remain obscure. We discovered that ACI-1 proteins are phylogenetically distinct from beta-lactamases of Gram-positive Firmicutes and that aci1 occurs in bacteria scattered across the Negativicute clade, suggesting lateral gene transfer. In the reference A. intestini RyC-MR95 genome, we found transposons residing within a tailed prophage context are likely vehicles for aci1's mobility. We found aci1 in 56 (4.4%) of 1,267 human gut metagenomes, mostly hosted within A. intestini, and, where could be determined, mostly within a consistent mobile element constellation. These samples are from Europe, China and the USA, showing that aci1 is distributed globally. We found that for most Negativicute assemblies with aci1, the prophage observed in A. instestini is absent, but in all cases aci1 is flanked by varying transposons. The chimeric mobile elements we identify here likely have a complex evolutionary history and potentially provide multiple complementary mechanisms for antibiotic resistance gene transfer both within and between cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center