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J Med Microbiol. 2009 Sep;58(Pt 9):1133-48. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.009142-0. Epub 2009 Jun 15.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa - a phenomenon of bacterial resistance.

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Department of Microbiology, Medical University of Sofia, 1431 Sofia, Bulgaria.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the leading nosocomial pathogens worldwide. Nosocomial infections caused by this organism are often hard to treat because of both the intrinsic resistance of the species (it has constitutive expression of AmpC beta-lactamase and efflux pumps, combined with a low permeability of the outer membrane), and its remarkable ability to acquire further resistance mechanisms to multiple groups of antimicrobial agents, including beta-lactams, aminoglycosides and fluoroquinolones. P. aeruginosa represents a phenomenon of bacterial resistance, since practically all known mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance can be seen in it: derepression of chromosomal AmpC cephalosporinase; production of plasmid or integron-mediated beta-lactamases from different molecular classes (carbenicillinases and extended-spectrum beta-lactamases belonging to class A, class D oxacillinases and class B carbapenem-hydrolysing enzymes); diminished outer membrane permeability (loss of OprD proteins); overexpression of active efflux systems with wide substrate profiles; synthesis of aminoglycoside-modifying enzymes (phosphoryltransferases, acetyltransferases and adenylyltransferases); and structural alterations of topoisomerases II and IV determining quinolone resistance. Worryingly, these mechanisms are often present simultaneously, thereby conferring multiresistant phenotypes. This review describes the known resistance mechanisms in P. aeruginosa to the most frequently administrated antipseudomonal antibiotics: beta-lactams, aminoglycosides and fluoroquinolones.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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