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Review
, 21 (4)

Bioinformatics Approaches to the Understanding of Molecular Mechanisms in Antimicrobial Resistance

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Review

Bioinformatics Approaches to the Understanding of Molecular Mechanisms in Antimicrobial Resistance

Pieter-Jan Van Camp et al. Int J Mol Sci.

Abstract

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major health concern worldwide. A better understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms is needed. Advances in whole genome sequencing and other high-throughput unbiased instrumental technologies to study the molecular pathogenicity of infectious diseases enable the accumulation of large amounts of data that are amenable to bioinformatic analysis and the discovery of new signatures of AMR. In this work, we review representative methods published in the past five years to define major approaches developed to-date in the understanding of AMR mechanisms. Advantages and limitations for applications of these methods in clinical laboratory testing and basic research are discussed.

Keywords: antibiotic resistance genes; antimicrobial resistance; bioinformatic analysis; molecular mechanisms; prediction of antibiotic resistance.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Antimicrobial drug targets and molecular mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Left: The most common classes of AB currently in use impede bacterial growth by inhibiting the biosynthesis of peptidoglycan, a main constituent of cell wall; disrupting the bacterial cell membrane; and inhibiting DNA replication, gene transcription and translation, and folate biosynthesis. Right: In turn, bacteria have developed many resistance mechanisms to these attacks, such as pumping the AB out of the cell, inactivating the drug using specialized enzymes, modifying the target structures to prevent interference, and bypassing the affected metabolic pathway.

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