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J Dent Res. 1996 Feb;75(2):736-42.

Ins and outs of antimicrobial resistance: era of the drug pumps.

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Nuffield Department of Clinical Biochemistry, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, United Kingdom.


Over the past five years, concerns have heightened over the escalating numbers of pathogenic micro-organisms isolated that are resistant to many antibiotics and drugs. This phenomenon poses major problems in the treatment of patients with hospital- or community-acquired infections caused by bacteria, fungi, or parasitic organisms. Microbial cells have acquired resistances to specific antibiotics and drugs by mechanisms that include antibiotic inactivation, target alteration, or drug exclusion. More recently, the importance of another mechanism, that of drug expulsion, has been recognized as contributing significantly to antibiotic and drug resistance in microbes. Drug expulsion, mediated by membrane-associated drug efflux pumps, can protect cells from a range of toxic compounds and therefore may confer single-step multidrug resistance. It is imperative that new drugs be designed or discovered that will poison the pumps or bypass the efflux mechanisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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