Resistance to 5-Nitroimidazoles in Pathogenic Microorganisms

  • Miklos Müller
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 42)


Resistance (lowered susceptibility) to metronidazole and other 5-nitroimidazoles occurs, albeit infrequently, in clinical isolates of the normally susceptible anaerobic microorganisms, Trichomonas vaginalis and Bacteroides spp. Such resistance has been induced by in vivo drug pressure in T. vaginalis and Tritrichomonas foetus and by in vitro drug pressure in B. fragilis. All organisms studied showed cross-resistance to other 5-nitro-imidazoles expressed to a different degree. The detection of resistance depends on the assay method used. The mechanism of resistance in natural isolates and in strains of trichomonads developed in vivo is unknown but seems to be connected with aerobic conditions. Resistance of in vitro developed T. foetus strains and of all B. fragilis strains studied is related to a decreased activity of pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase, responsible for the metabolic activation of 5-nitroimidazoles.


Clinical Isolate Resistant Strain Lowered Susceptibility NADH Oxidase Entamoeba Histolytica 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miklos Müller
    • 1
  1. 1.The Rockefeller UniversityNew YorkUSA

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