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Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance

  1. Ana Martins1,
  2. Gabriella Spengler2,
  3. József Molnár2,
  4. Leonard Amaral1

Published Online: 17 FEB 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0001993.pub2



How to Cite

Martins, A., Spengler, G., Molnár, J. and Amaral, L. 2014. Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal

  2. 2

    University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary

  1. Based in part on the previous version of this eLS article ‘Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance’ (2002) by Shahriar Mobashery and Eduardo F Azucena Jr.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 17 FEB 2014


The mechanisms by which antibiotic resistance of bacteria takes place are discussed in detail. Among the mechanisms that have been recently elucidated are overexpressed efflux pumps that render the bacterium multidrug resistant; downregulation of porins; target modification; quorum sensing; biofilm production and secretion and plasmids that carry antibiotic resistance genes. The mechanisms discussed also include modulation by agents or genetic regulation that may provide improved antibiotic therapies.

Key Concepts:

  • Efflux pumps, porins and plasmid acquisition play an essential role in the development of multidrug resistance by bacteria.

  • Quorum sensing is essential in biofilm formation.

  • Efflux pumps must be essential for bacterial communication (quorum sensing).

  • Quorum sensing must play an important role in the development of resistance and bacterial survival.

  • Inhibition of EP and QS appear to be crucial to inhibit biofilm formation.


  • bacterial resistance;
  • efflux pumps;
  • porins;
  • quorum sensing;
  • biofilms;
  • target modification;
  • plasmids