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J Antimicrob Chemother. 1999 Sep;44(3):309-18.

Evolution and spread of SHV extended-spectrum beta-lactamases in gram-negative bacteria.

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Division of Microbiology, School of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Antimicrobial Research Centre, University of Leeds, UK.


Resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics has been a problem for as long as these drugs have been used in clinical practice. In clinically significant bacteria the most important mechanism of resistance is the production of one or more beta-lactamases, enzymes that hydrolyse the beta-lactam bond characteristic of this family of antibiotics. Prominent among the beta-lactamases produced by the Enterobacteriaceae is the SHV family. The first reported SHV beta-lactamase had a narrow spectrum of activity. By the accumulation of point mutations at sites that affect the active site of the enzyme, a family of derivatives of SHV-1 has evolved. Derivatives of SHV-1 either have an extended spectrum of activity, capable of inactivating third-generation cephalosporins, or are resistant to beta-lactamase inhibitors. This review describes the evolution and spread of the SHV family of beta-lactamases, introducing the structure-function analysis made possible by DNA sequence analysis. It also reviews the methods used to characterize members of this family of beta-lactamases, indicating some of the difficulties involved.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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