Encyclopedia of Metagenomics

Living Edition
| Editors: Karen E. Nelson

Beta-Lactam Resistance

Mechanisms of Bacterial Resistance to β-Lactam Antibiotics
  • Ana Maria Cardenas
  • Timothy Palzkill
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6418-1_58-2



β-lactam resistance refers to the intrinsic or acquired ability of bacteria to avoid the action of β-lactam antibiotics. It is important to note that resistance in the clinical setting may not be predictable by in vitro susceptibility testing. In some cases, susceptible bacteria may be located in areas that are not accessible to antibiotics, or the presence of biofilms may restrict antibiotic access to susceptible strains, so strains may behave as if they are resistant. Thus, when using an antimicrobial agent, the in vitro susceptibility and metabolic state of the bacterial strain, as well as the attainable drug concentrations at the infection site, must also be considered.


β-lactam antibiotics are one of the oldest and most prescribed classes of antibacterial treatments worldwide (Hamad 2010). They comprise a class of natural, synthetic, and semisynthetic compounds that act by inactivating enzymes involved in cell wall synthesis....


Efflux Pump Small Multidrug Resistance Catalytic Serine Heptavalent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Porin Expression 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Pennsylvania Health SystemUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PharmacologyBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA