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Res Vet Sci. 2002 Apr;72(2):87-93.

The multiple antibiotic resistance (mar) locus and its significance.

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  • 1Department of Bacterial Disease, Veterinary Laboratories Agency (Weybridge) New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey, KT15 3NB, United Kingdom.


Chromosomally encoded systems involved in low level resistance of bacteria to different classes of antibiotics (mainly beta-lactams, chloramphenicol, quinolones and tetracycline), disinfectants and in resistance to organic solvents have been the focus of considerable interest in recent years. The multiple antibiotic resistance (mar) locus of Escherichia coli and Salmonella is perhaps the best described system involved in this type of resistance which is induced by MarA, the activator protein encoded by the marRAB locus. The mar -locus is reported to mediate resistance primarily by up-regulating efflux of some antibiotics, disinfectants and organic solvents via the AcrAB-TolC efflux pump and down regulating influx through Outer Membrane Protein F (OmpF). Whilst the level of antibiotic resistance conferred by marRAB is only low level, there are increasing data to suggest that marRAB and related systems are important in clinical antibiotic resistance, possibly as a 'stepping stone' to higher levels of resistance. Other related systems include up-regulation of RobA, SoxS and AcrAB which give rise to a similar resistance phenotype to that conferred by up-regulation of MarA. The aim of this paper is to review the function and significance of the mar -locus and related systems with a particular focus on its implications in veterinary medicine.

Copyright 2002 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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