The present study demonstrates for the first time the transfer of vancomycin resistance (vanA cluster) from enterococci to a Lactobacillusacidophilus commercial strain. Transfers were observed in vitro, but also in vivo in the gut of mice (in the absence of antibiotic pressure) where transconjugants arose at relatively high frequencies and could persist in the digestive environment. Since transfer of vancomycin resistance genes might also take place in the human digestive tract, lactobacilli probiotics should be carefully considered especially in either immunocompromised patients or during antibiotherapy. Acquisition and retransfer of resistance genes should be addressed in the safety evaluation of probiotics.

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