News Round-Up

Drug-resistant bacteria found in the guts of lemurs who live around humans


Antibiotic resistance, which the CDC calls one of the world’s most urgent public health crises, is now being found in the guts of lemurs, our distant primate cousins.

In a new study appearing Aug. 9 in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, Duke researchers have found evidence for antibiotic resistance in the microbiome of lemurs living close to humans. And the closer the contact, the more antibiotic resistance they found.

The research team, graduate student Sally Bornbusch and Christine Drea, Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University, sampled the dung of ring-tailed lemurs and sequenced the genes of all microbes found there, looking for genetic markers of antibiotic resistance. MORE

Header image: Bacterial genes for antibiotic resistance have been found in the guts of captive and wild lemurs in Madagascar and the U.S. The closer the animals’ contact with humans, the more resistant bacteria they harboured. Credit: Sally Bornbusch.