Chromosomal mutations involved in antibiotic resistance in Staphylococcus aureus

Front Biosci (Schol Ed). 2012 Jan 1;4:900-15. doi: 10.2741/s307.


Staphylococcus aureus is an important pathogen involved in infections in both the community and hospital setting. Strains that are resistant to multiple classes of antibiotics, particularly methicillin-resistant strains (MRSA), are prevalent in nosocomial infections and are associated with high morbidity and mortality rates. Such antibiotic-resistant strains limit the therapeutic options and place a burden on the health care system. In the hospital setting, horizontal gene transfer plays an important role in disseminating antibiotic resistant determinants among S. aureus. However, resistance to all known classes of antibiotics have been attributed to genes found within the S. aureus chromosome or to due to mutation as a result of selection pressure. Spontaneous mutations, in particular, are pivotal in the emergence of novel resistances. Consequently, newer drugs with better activity and/or antibacterial agents with novel targets need to be developed to combat and control the further spread of antibiotic resistance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Chromosomes, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Gene Transfer, Horizontal
  • Humans
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / genetics
  • Mutation*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / genetics*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents