Ampicillin resistance and penicillin-binding proteins of Haemophilus influenzae

J Gen Microbiol. 1986 Oct;132(10):2855-61. doi: 10.1099/00221287-132-10-2855.


Penicillin-binding protein (PBP) alterations have been associated with non-beta-lactamase-mediated ampicillin resistance in Haemophilus influenzae. We evaluated the PBP profiles of several ampicillin-susceptible and -resistant clinical isolates of H. influenzae to determine how consistently the described alterations occurred, and to document the reproducibility of the PBP profiles for this species. The MIC of ampicillin ranged from 0.06 to 0.13 microgram ml-1 for the susceptible isolates at an inoculum of 100,000 c.f.u. when tested by broth dilution, and was 0.5 microgram ml-1 for all four isolates when tested by agar dilution. The MIC for the resistant isolates ranged from 4 to 8 micrograms ml-1 when tested by broth dilution, and from 1.5 to 16 micrograms ml-1 when tested by agar dilution. At least eight distinct PBPs with molecular masses ranging from 27 to 90 kDa were detected both in cell membrane preparations and whole cell (in vivo) binding assays done on cells in the exponential growth phase. PBP variability was evident both in the ampicillin-susceptible and -resistant isolates; however, much greater variability existed within the four resistant strains. The differences in PBP patterns included (1) electrophoretic mobility, (2) binding capacity for the antibiotic and (3) the presence of additional PBPs in two of the resistant isolates. However, decreased binding capacity was consistently demonstrated in PBP 5 (56 kDa) of all of the resistant isolates. Saturation curves with both penicillin and ampicillin indicated that PBP 5 had decreased affinity for the antibiotics.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Ampicillin / metabolism
  • Ampicillin / pharmacology*
  • Bacterial Proteins*
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Haemophilus influenzae / drug effects*
  • Haemophilus influenzae / metabolism
  • Hexosyltransferases*
  • Kinetics
  • Muramoylpentapeptide Carboxypeptidase / metabolism*
  • Penicillin G / metabolism
  • Penicillin Resistance
  • Penicillin-Binding Proteins
  • Peptidyl Transferases*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Penicillin-Binding Proteins
  • Ampicillin
  • Peptidyl Transferases
  • Hexosyltransferases
  • Muramoylpentapeptide Carboxypeptidase
  • Penicillin G