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Future Microbiol. 2007 Jun;2(3):323-34.

Mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in Staphylococcus aureus.

Author information

1
Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Department of Infectious, Parasitic & Immune-mediated Diseases, Rome, Italy. annalisa.pantosti@iss.it

Abstract

Staphylococcus aureus can exemplify better than any other human pathogen the adaptive evolution of bacteria in the antibiotic era, as it has demonstrated a unique ability to quickly respond to each new antibiotic with the development of a resistance mechanism, starting with penicillin and methicillin, until the most recent, linezolid and daptomycin. Resistance mechanisms include enzymatic inactivation of the antibiotic (penicillinase and aminoglycoside-modification enzymes), alteration of the target with decreased affinity for the antibiotic (notable examples being penicillin-binding protein 2a of methicillin-resistant S. aureus and D-Ala-D-Lac of peptidoglycan precursors of vancomycin-resistant strains), trapping of the antibiotic (for vancomycin and possibly daptomycin) and efflux pumps (fluoroquinolones and tetracycline). Complex genetic arrays (staphylococcal chromosomal cassette mec elements or the vanA operon) have been acquired by S. aureus through horizontal gene transfer, while resistance to other antibiotics, including some of the most recent ones (e.g., fluoroquinolones, linezolid and daptomycin) have developed through spontaneous mutations and positive selection. Detection of the resistance mechanisms and their genetic basis is an important support to antibiotic susceptibility surveillance in S. aureus.

PMID:
17661706
DOI:
10.2217/17460913.2.3.323
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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