An epidemic of plasmids? Dissemination of extended-spectrum cephalosporinases among Salmonella and other Enterobacteriaceae

FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2008 Mar;52(2):155-68. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-695X.2007.00360.x. Epub 2007 Dec 18.


CTX-M- and AmpC-type beta-lactamases comprise the two most rapidly growing populations among the extended-spectrum cephalosporinases. The evolution and dissemination of resistance genes encoding these enzymes occur mostly through the transmission of plasmids. The high prevalence of clinical isolates of Enterobacteriaceae producing the plasmid-mediated extended-spectrum cephalosporinases resembles an epidemic of plasmids, and has generated serious therapeutic problems. This review describes the emergence and worldwide spread of various classes of plasmid-mediated extended-spectrum cephalosporinases in Salmonella and other Enterobacteriaceae, the transfer mechanism of the plasmids, detection methods, and therapeutic choices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Cephalosporinase / genetics*
  • Enterobacteriaceae / drug effects*
  • Enterobacteriaceae / enzymology
  • Enterobacteriaceae / genetics*
  • Plasmids*
  • beta-Lactam Resistance / genetics*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Cephalosporinase