Intrinsic antibiotic resistance: mechanisms, origins, challenges and solutions

Int J Med Microbiol. 2013 Aug;303(6-7):287-92. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmm.2013.02.009. Epub 2013 Mar 13.


The intrinsic antibiotic resistome is a naturally occurring phenomenon that predates antibiotic chemotherapy and is present in all bacterial species. In addition to the intrinsic resistance mediated by the bacterial outer membrane and active efflux, studies have shown that a surprising number of additional genes and genetic loci also contribute to this phenotype. Antibiotic resistance is rife in both the clinic and the environment; novel therapeutic strategies need to be developed in order to prevent a major global clinical threat. The possibility of inhibiting elements comprising the intrinsic resistome in bacterial pathogens offers the promise for repurposing existing antibiotics against intrinsically resistant bacteria.

Keywords: Adjuvant; Antibiotic resistance; Efflux; Gram-negative pathogens; Intrinsic antibiotic resistance; Outer membrane; Permeability; Potentiate; Resistome.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Bacteria / genetics*
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial*
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents