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J Antimicrob Chemother. 1997 Dec;40(6):833-40.

Involvement of superoxide dismutase and pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase in mechanisms of metronidazole resistance in Entamoeba histolytica.

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Queensland Institute of Medical Research, The Bancroft Centre, Brisbane, Australia.


Metronidazole resistance has been induced in an axenic strain of Entamoeba histolytica (HTH-56:MUTM) following continuous exposure to steadily increasing drug concentrations. The drug-resistant line is routinely maintained in normally lethal levels of metronidazole (10 microM). Resistance to this concentration of drug was developed over 177 days. Decreased pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase (PFOR) activity in anaerobic organisms is one mechanism of metronidazole resistance but in entamoeba, PFOR activity was not decreased in metronidazole-resistant parasites as determined by immunofluorescent assays and immunoblotting studies. 2-Oxoacid oxidoreductase activity, which appeared to be due to a single enzyme, PFOR, was evident with pyruvate as well as the alternative substrates, alpha-ketobutyrate, alpha-ketoglutarate and oxaloacetate. A marked increase in superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity was detected in metronidazole-resistant E. histolytica. Increased SOD activity has not previously been documented as a mechanism of drug resistance although SOD has been associated with a range of stress situations in other organisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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