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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Feb 21;301(4):985-90.

Imipenem and expression of multidrug efflux pump in Enterobacter aerogenes.

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Enveloppe Bactérienne, Perméabilité et Antibiotiques, EA2197, IFR48, Faculté de Médecine, Université de la Méditerranée, 27 Boulevard Jean Moulin, 13385 05, Marseille cedex, France.


Imipenem is often used to treat intensive care unit patients infected by Enterobacter aerogenes, but it is leading to an increasing number of antibiotic resistant strains. Clinical isolates and imipenem resistant variants presented a high level of resistance to beta-lactam antibiotic group and to chemically unrelated drugs. We report here that imipenem selects strains which contain active efflux pumps ejecting various unrelated antibiotics including quinolones, tetracycline, and chloramphenicol. An increase of AcrA, an efflux pump component, was observed in the imipenem resistant variants. The overexpression of marA, involved in the genetic control of membrane permeability via porin and efflux pump expression, indicated the activation of the resistance genetic cascade in imipenem resistant variants.

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