Meta-analysis of experimental data concerning antimicrobial resistance gene transfer rates during conjugation

Paul R. Hunter, Dawn C. Wilkinson, Louise A. Catling, Gary C. Barker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the results of a meta-analysis of published transfer rates of antimicrobial resistance genes. A total of 34 papers were identified, of which 28 contained rates estimated in relation to either donor or recipient bacterial counts. The published rates ranged from 10−2 to 10−9. Generalized linear modeling was conducted to identify the factors influencing this variation. Highly significant associations between transfer frequency and both the donor (P = 1.2 × 10−4) and recipient (P = 1.0 × 10−5) genera were found. Also significant was whether the donor and recipient strains were of the same genus (P = 0.023) and the nature of the genetic element (P = 0.0019). The type of experiment, in vivo or in vitro, approached statistical significance (P = 0.12). Parameter estimates from a general linear model were used to estimate the probability of transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes to potential pathogens in the intestine following oral ingestion. The mean logarithms of these probabilities are in the range of [−7.0, −3.1]. These probability distributions are suitable for use in the quantitative assessment of the risk of transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes to the intestinal flora of humans and animals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6085-6090
Number of pages6
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Cite this