Tetracycline resistance genes acquired at birth

Angela M. Alicea-Serrano, Mónica Contreras, Magda Magris, Glida Hidalgo, Maria G. Dominguez-Bello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Newborns acquire their first microbiota at birth. Maternal vaginal or skin bacteria colonize newborns delivered vaginally or by C-section, respectively (Dominguez-Bello et al. 2010 #884). We aimed to determine differences in the presence of four tetracycline (tet) resistance genes, in the microbes of ten newborns and in the mouth and vagina of their mothers, at the time of birth. DNA was amplified by PCR with primers specific for [tet(M), tet(O), tet(Q), and tet(W)]. Maternal vaginas harbored all four tet resistance genes, but most commonly tet(M) and tet(O) (63 and 38 %, respectively). Genes coding for tet resistance differed by birth mode, with 50 % of vaginally delivered babies had tet(M) and tet(O) and 16 and 13 % of infants born by C-section had tet(O) and tet(W), respectively. Newborns acquire antibiotic resistance genes at birth, and the resistance gene profile varies by mode of delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-451
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Microbiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Cesarean-section
  • Newborn
  • Tetracycline
  • Vaginal delivery


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