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Front Microbiol. 2018 Apr 6;9:685. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.00685. eCollection 2018.

The Versatile Mutational Resistome of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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Servicio de Microbiología y Unidad de Investigación, Hospital Universitari Son Espases, Institut d'Investigació Sanitaria Illes Balears, Palma de Mallorca, Spain.


One of the most striking features of Pseudomonas aeruginosa is its outstanding capacity for developing antimicrobial resistance to nearly all available antipseudomonal agents through the selection of chromosomal mutations, leading to the failure of the treatment of severe hospital-acquired or chronic infections. Recent whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data obtained from in vitro assays on the evolution of antibiotic resistance, in vivo monitoring of antimicrobial resistance development, analysis of sequential cystic fibrosis isolates, and characterization of widespread epidemic high-risk clones have provided new insights into the evolutionary dynamics and mechanisms of P. aeruginosa antibiotic resistance, thus motivating this review. Indeed, the analysis of the WGS mutational resistome has proven to be useful for understanding the evolutionary dynamics of classical resistance pathways and to describe new mechanisms for the majority of antipseudomonal classes, including β-lactams, aminoglycosides, fluoroquinolones, or polymixins. Beyond addressing a relevant scientific question, the analysis of the P. aeruginosa mutational resistome is expected to be useful, together with the analysis of the horizontally-acquired resistance determinants, for establishing the antibiotic resistance genotype, which should correlate with the antibiotic resistance phenotype and as such, it should be useful for the design of therapeutic strategies and for monitoring the efficacy of administered antibiotic treatments. However, further experimental research and new bioinformatics tools are still needed to overcome the interpretation limitations imposed by the complex interactions (including those leading to collateral resistance or susceptibility) between the 100s of genes involved in the mutational resistome, as well as the frequent difficulties for differentiating relevant mutations from simple natural polymorphisms.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa; antibiotic resistance; evolution; multidrug resistance; mutation; resistance development; resistome

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