Research Topic

Mechanisms of antibiotic resistance

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In the beginning of introduction of antibiotics into clinical practice it was presumed that the resistance mechanisms against antibiotics would be largely due to target modification in pathogenic bacteria. This assumption has been essentially based on the Paul Ehrlich’s concept of a "magic bullet" that would selectively target only a disease-causing organism. In this scenario, the target modification in pathogenic microbiota due to mutations would be rather a rare event and, therefore, antibiotic resistance would not represent a major problem. At that time, nobody anticipated the extent of horizontal gene exchange in microbial world that is capable of mobilizing the vast armory of resistance mechanisms from other bacteria and launch extremely efficient defenses against the antibiotics used. Besides target modification these mechanisms include various types of enzymatic drug modification, active efflux of drugs from the cell, altered membrane permeability, target masking, and others.
The main aim of this research topic will be focused on mechanisms of antibiotic resistance. We certainly realize that the area is large and has been covered well in a number of previous researches. Therefore, we would be interested in manuscripts describing the novel or unconventional mechanisms of antibiotic resistance or resistance against novel antibiotics. In this regard, a glimpse into natural reservoirs of potential antibiotic resistance is particularly welcome. Another important question to ask is how to overcome antibiotic resistance. Besides the obvious solutions such as decreasing the burden of antibiotics in cases that are not vital for the human health, this area may include investigations directed at interference with antibiotic resistance mechanisms. And finally, the examples of multifunctional enzymes that may be involved in antibiotic resistance as well would be particularly appreciated.

Subtopic: "Inhibition of mechanisms of resistance and their expression"

Antibiotic resistance is considered one of the most serious threats to human health. Introducing new antibiotics in the past decade has not kept up with the rise in multidrug resistant bacterial pathogens and the pipeline has few candidates. An alternative to the introduction of new antibiotics is to develop inhibitors of the mechanisms of resistance or their expression so they can be used in combination with the partner antibiotic, which can reach its target and exert its effect. For some antibiotics, such as the β-lactams, this strategy has already been successful and β-lactamase inhibitors are part of several formulations. This section includes articles that describe the current research on inhibitors of mechanisms of resistance to several antibiotics and their expression.


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