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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1987 Apr;31(4):587-93.

Antibiotic residues and drug resistance in human intestinal flora.


The effect of residual levels of ampicillin on the drug resistance of fecal flora was studied in human volunteers given 1.5 mg of ampicillin orally per day for 21 days. This treatment failed to have any significant reproducible effect on the number of resistant Escherichia coli in their feces. The effect of continuous administration of small doses of ampicillin, chlortetracycline, or streptomycin in the drinking water was studied in gnotobiotic mice inoculated with a human fecal flora. In this animal model, which is free of many interfering factors, an increase in the fecal concentration of resistant E. coli was observed when the mice were given 0.5 microgram of ampicillin or chlortetracycline per ml of water. This model is therefore a sensitive system for testing the effect of antimicrobial drugs on the resistance characteristics of the intestinal flora.

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