Efflux Pumps in Antibiotic Resistance

Lexi Diessner


Efflux pumps are a microorganism’s way of regulating their internal environment by making it possible to pump out toxic substances. Drug efflux is a significant mechanism of antibiotic resistance. The ongoing progress of efflux pumps in microorganisms raises obstacles for clinicians and professionals of the healthcare world. This is relevant because low-level resistance within microorganisms can develop into clinical resistance. A clinical microbiology laboratory determines a minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) determines the clinical breaking point. The MIC is the lowest concentration of an antibiotic required to inhibit bacterial growth; the clinical breaking point is whether a said organism is susceptible or resistant to an antibiotic. If the MIC is lower than or equal to the breaking point, the bacterium is susceptible. If the MIC is higher than the breaking point, the bacterium is considered resistant. More and more attention is being brought to efflux pumps and the possibility of the increasing clinical resistance. With increasing clinical resistance, effective drugs against bacterium rapidly decreases.


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