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Glycopeptide antibiotic resistance.

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Antimicrobial Research Centre, Department of Biochemistry, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


Glycopeptide antibiotics are integral components of the current antibiotic arsenal that is under strong pressures as a result of the emergence of a variety of resistance mechanisms over the past 15 years. Resistance has manifested itself largely through the expression of genes that encode proteins that reprogram cell wall biosynthesis and thus evade the action of the antibiotic in the enterococci, though recently new mechanisms have appeared that afford resistance and tolerance in the more virulent staphylococci and streptococci. Overcoming glycopeptide resistance will require innovative approaches to generate new antibiotics or otherwise to inhibit the action of resistance elements in various bacteria. The chemical complexity of the glycopeptides, the challenges of discovering and successfully exploiting new targets, and the growing number of distinct resistance types all increase the difficulty of the current problem we face as a result of the emergence of glycopeptide resistance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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