Antibiotic Resistance Mechanisms in Bacteria: Biochemical and Genetic Aspects

Senka Džidić1, Jagoda Šušković2* and Blaženka Kos2

1Ruđer Bošković Institute, Department of Molecular Genetics, POB 180, HR-10 002 Zagreb, Croatia

2Laboratory for Antibiotic, Enzyme, Probiotic and Starter Culture Technology, Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb, POB 625, HR-10 001 Zagreb, Croatia

Article history:

Received June 5, 2007
Accepted November 19, 2007

Key words:

antibiotic resistance, multidrug resistance, antibiotic inactivation, target modification, drug efflux, membrane permeability changes, hypermutators, horizontal gene transfer


Since the discovery and subsequent widespread use of antibiotics, a variety of bacterial species of human and animal origin have developed numerous mechanisms that render bacteria resistant to some, and in certain cases to nearly all antibiotics. There are many important pathogens that are resistant to multiple antibiotic classes, and infections caused by multidrug resistant (MDR) organisms are limiting treatment options and compromising effective therapy. So the emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens in bacterial populations is a relevant field of study in molecular and evolutionary biology, and in medical practice. There are two main aspects to the biology of antimicrobial resistance. One is concerned with the development, acquisition and spread of the resistance gene itself. The other is the specific biochemical mechanism conveyed by this resistance gene. In this review we present some recent data on molecular mechanisms of antibiotic resistance.


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