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Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2011 Oct;11(5):457-63. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2011.07.001. Epub 2011 Jul 30.

A new evolutionary and pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic scenario for rapid emergence of resistance to single and multiple anti-tuberculosis drugs.

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Department of Medicine, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390-9113, USA.


The current understanding of the mechanism of anti-tuberculosis drug resistance has been shaped by the history of development of anti-tuberculosis drugs in the past 60 years and was arrived at as part of inductive generalization. Recently, these standard beliefs have been tested in controlled hollow fiber systems experiments. Drug resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis was shown to be related to pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) factors, and factors such as pharmacokinetic variability. Poor PK/PD exposures owing to our current non-optimized dosing regimens initiate a chain of evolution driven events, starting with induction of multi-drug efflux pumps, followed by the development of chromosomal mutations in time, which together lead to high level resistance multi-drug resistant tuberculosis and extremely drug resistant tuberculosis.

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