Send to

Choose Destination
Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2001 Aug;10(8):1409-22.

Efflux in bacteria: what do we really know about it?

Author information

Infectious Diseases-Microbiology, Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Wallingford, CT 06492, USA.


Efflux is the process in which bacteria transport compounds outside the cell which are potentially toxic, such as drugs or chemicals or compounds. Efflux pumps can be identified not only by biochemical, microbiological, or molecular means but with the availability of microbial genomic sequences, by the application of bioinformatics analysis of DNA sequences for key conserved structure motifs. Efflux has been identified as a relevant contributor to bacterial resistance in the clinic and is now recognised as one of the most important causes of intrinsic antibiotic resistance in bacteria, especially in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. With the recognition of efflux as a major factor in bacterial resistance, several companies have invested in the identification and development of bacterial efflux pump inhibitors. Among those, Microcide, Pfizer, Paratek and several academic laboratories are in the process of exploring efflux pump inhibitors from synthetic, natural products and peptidomimetics. Inhibiting bacterial efflux with a non-antibiotic inhibitor would restore activity of an antibiotic subject to efflux (similar to the use of beta-lactamase inhibitors to combat beta-lactamase production by bacteria). The feasibility of such an approach has been experimentally demonstrated in vitro and in vivo for efflux reversal of levofloxacin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center