Mechanisms of resistance of enterococci to beta-lactam antibiotics

  • R. Fontana
  • P. Canepari
  • M. M. Lleò
  • G. Satta
Current Topic: Review


Two mechanisms are responsible for resistance of enterococci to beta-lactam antibiotics: alterations of penicillin-binding proteins and production of a beta-lactamase. The latter has been found in a few clinical isolates ofEnterococcus faecalis, whereas the former appears to account for resistance in most strains. A correlation has been established between the amount of a particular penicillin-binding protein which has a low affinity for penicillin and the level of resistance. The higher activity of some penicillins, as compared to cephalosporins, has been related to the relatively higher affinity for these penicillins of the penicillin-binding protein involved in the mechanism of resistance. Alterations in the autolytic enzyme pattern have been associated with the paradoxical response to bactericidal activity of penicillin often exhibited byEnterococcus faecalis clinical isolates.


Internal Medicine Penicillin High Activity Bactericidal Activity Cephalosporin 
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Copyright information

© Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn Verlagsgesellschaft mbH 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Fontana
    • 1
  • P. Canepari
    • 1
  • M. M. Lleò
    • 1
  • G. Satta
    • 2
  1. 1.Istituto di MicrobiologiaUniversità degli Studi di VeronaVeronaItaly
  2. 2.Istituto di MicrobiologiaUniversità degli Studi di SienaSienaItaly

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