Journal Article

Minimizing Potential Resistance: The Molecular View—A Comment on Courvalin and Trieu-Cuot

David C. Hooper

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 33, issue Supplement_3, pages S157-S160
Published in print September 2001 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online September 2001 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/321842
Minimizing Potential Resistance: The Molecular View—A Comment on Courvalin and Trieu-Cuot

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The complexity of bacterial resistance to antimicrobial agents is driven by the interplay of many mechanistic and epidemiologic factors. Mechanistically, resistance by target alteration, reduced permeation, and drug inactivation can occur by both chromosomal mutation and acquisition of new genetic elements. Epidemiologically, exposure to antimicrobial agents provides a growth or persistence advantage for any existing resistant bacteria, generally irrespective of the mechanism. When a single chromosomal mutation is sufficient to cause resistance, any such exposure provides a risk of selection, as long as a sufficiently large bacterial population is exposed. Transmission of resistant bacteria can also amplify resistance of any type, but it is particularly important for complex resistance mechanisms that have evolved over time and for mechanisms that depend on infrequent biological events in nature. Because true biological barriers to the development of resistance are likely to be elusive, multiple approaches that address both the use of antimicrobial agents and transmission are necessary to slow the advance of resistance.

Journal Article.  2989 words. 

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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