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Vet Microbiol. 2007 Apr 15;121(3-4):197-214. Epub 2007 Jan 23.

beta-Lactam resistance and beta-lactamases in bacteria of animal origin.

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Human Safety Division, Veterinary Drugs Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada, 14-11 Holland Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario K1A OK9, Canada.


beta-Lactams are among the most clinically important antimicrobials in both human and veterinary medicine. Bacterial resistance to beta-lactams has been increasingly observed in bacteria, including those of animal origin. The mechanisms of beta-lactam resistance include inaccessibility of the drugs to their target, target alterations and/or inactivation of the drugs by beta-lactamases. The latter contributes predominantly to beta-lactam resistance in Gram-negative bacteria. A variety of beta-lactamases have been identified in bacteria derived from food-producing and companion animals and may further serve as a reservoir for beta-lactamase-producing bacteria in humans. While this review mainly describes beta-lactamases from animal-derived Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp., beta-lactamases from animal-derived Campylobacter spp., Enterococcus spp., Staphylococcus spp. and other pathogens are also discussed. Of particular concern are the increasingly-isolated plasmid-encoded AmpC-type CMY and extended-spectrum CTX-M beta-lactamases, which mediate acquired resistance to extended-spectrum beta-lactams. The genes encoding these enzymes often coexist with other antimicrobial resistance determinants and can also be associated with transposons/integrons, increasing the potential enrichment of multidrug resistant bacteria by multiple antimicrobial agents as well as dissemination of the resistance determinants among bacterial species. Characterization of beta-lactam-resistant animal-derived bacteria warrants further investigation of the type and distribution of beta-lactamases in bacteria of animal origin and their potential impact on human medicine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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