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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2011 Jan 14;404(2):656-60. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2010.12.034. Epub 2010 Dec 11.

Enhanced bacterial efflux system is the first step to the development of metronidazole resistance in Helicobacter pylori.

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Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


Although metronidazole (Mtz) is an important component of Helicobacter pylori eradication regimens, it has been pointed out that the increasing use of Mtz may result in increase in the incidence of Mtz-resistant strains. The present study was designed to examine the initial mechanism of resistance acquisition of H. pylori to Mtz. After 10 Mtz-susceptible strains were cultured on plates containing sub-inhibitory concentrations of Mtz, the MIC of Mtz for 9 of the 10 strains increased to levels of the Mtz-resistant strains. In the Mtz-resistance-induced strains, the expression of the TolC efflux pump (hefA) was significantly increased under Mtz exposure, without the reduction of the Mtz-reductive activity. Our finding suggests that overexpression of hefA may be the initial step in the acquisition of Mtz resistance in H. pylori.

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