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. 1999 Nov;5(11):839-45.

beta-Lactamases of Increasing Clinical Importance

  • PMID: 10539991

beta-Lactamases of Increasing Clinical Importance

K Bush. Curr Pharm Des. .


Resistance to b-lactam-containing antimicrobial agents continues to increase, frequently due to the presence of b-lactamases in Gram-negative bacteria. Over the past twenty-five years broad-spectrum enzymes such as TEM- and SHV-variants and the metallo-b-lactamases have become more prolific. As a result of the ability of plasmids to continue to acquire additional resistance determinants, many of the b-lactamase-producing Gram-negative pathogens have become multi-drug resistant. In combination with decreased permeability, the organisms can become virtually untreatable with current therapies. The major groups of b-lactamases that pose the most serious therapeutic problems include the extended-spectrum b-lactamases, the plasmid-mediated cephalosporinases, the inhibitor-resistant TEM- or SHV-derived b-lactamases and the carbapenem-hydrolyzing b-lactamases. Those enzymes that can be transferred on mobile elements are the most serious of the newer b-lactamases, and include enzymes in each of the four groups outlined above.

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