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Int J Med Microbiol. 2002 Jun;292(1):27-35.

Resistance mechanisms of gram-positive bacteria.

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Institute of Medical Microbiology, University of Zürich, Switzerland.


The introduction and increasing use of antibiotics for antibacterial therapy has initiated a rapid development and expansion of antibiotic resistance in microorganisms, particularly in human pathogens. Additionally, a shift to an increase in number and severity of Gram-positive infections has been observed the last decades. Common to these pathogens is their tendency to accumulate multiple resistances under antibiotic pressure and selection. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), that have acquired multiresistance to all classes of antibiotics, have become a serious nosocomial problem. Recently, the emergence of the first MRSA with reduced vancomycin susceptibility evoked the specter of a totally resistant S. aureus. Problems with multiresistance expand also to penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae that are partially or totally resistant to multiple antibiotics, and to vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus ssp., completely resistant to all commonly used antibiotics. The rapid development of resistance is due to mutational events and/or gene transfer and acquisition of resistance determinants, allowing strains to survive antibiotic treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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