Mechanisms of resistance to quinolones

Clin Infect Dis. 2005 Jul 15;41 Suppl 2:S120-6. doi: 10.1086/428052.

Abstract

The increased use of fluoroquinolones has led to increasing resistance to these antimicrobials, with rates of resistance that vary by both organism and geographic region. Resistance to fluoroquinolones typically arises as a result of alterations in the target enzymes (DNA gyrase and topoisomerase IV) and of changes in drug entry and efflux. Mutations are selected first in the more susceptible target: DNA gyrase, in gram-negative bacteria, or topoisomerase IV, in gram-positive bacteria. Additional mutations in the next most susceptible target, as well as in genes controlling drug accumulation, augment resistance further, so that the most-resistant isolates have mutations in several genes. Resistance to quinolones can also be mediated by plasmids that produce the Qnr protein, which protects the quinolone targets from inhibition. Qnr plasmids have been found in the United States, Europe, and East Asia. Although Qnr by itself produces only low-level resistance, its presence facilitates the selection of higher-level resistance mutations, thus contributing to the alarming increase in resistance to quinolones.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ciprofloxacin / pharmacology
  • Ciprofloxacin / therapeutic use
  • DNA Topoisomerase IV / drug effects
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial / physiology*
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / genetics
  • Mutation / drug effects
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Quinolones / pharmacology*
  • Quinolones / therapeutic use*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects

Substances

  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Qnr protein, E coli
  • Quinolones
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • DNA Topoisomerase IV