Impact Factor


Front. Microbiol., 28 September 2011 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2011.00203

Acquired antibiotic resistance genes: an overview

Angela H. A. M. van Hoek1, Dik Mevius2,3, Beatriz Guerra4, Peter Mullany5, Adam Paul Roberts5 and Henk J. M. Aarts1*
  • 1 Laboratory for Zoonoses and Environmental Microbiology, Centre for Infectious Disease Control, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 2 Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen UR, Lelystad, Netherlands
  • 3 Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 4 National Salmonella Reference Laboratory, Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Berlin, Germany
  • 5 Department of Microbial Diseases, University College London Eastman Dental Institute, University College London, London, UK

In this review an overview is given on antibiotic resistance (AR) mechanisms with special attentions to the AR genes described so far preceded by a short introduction on the discovery and mode of action of the different classes of antibiotics. As this review is only dealing with acquired resistance, attention is also paid to mobile genetic elements such as plasmids, transposons, and integrons, which are associated with AR genes, and involved in the dispersal of antimicrobial determinants between different bacteria.

Keywords: antimicrobial resistance mechanisms, acquired, antibiotics, mobile genetic elements

Citation: van Hoek AHAM, Mevius D, Guerra B, Mullany P, Roberts AP and Aarts HJM (2011) Acquired antibiotic resistance genes: an overview. Front. Microbio. 2:203. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2011.00203

Received: 01 July 2011; Accepted: 08 September 2011;
Published online: 28 September 2011.

Edited by:

Timothy Rutland Walsh, Cardiff University, UK

Reviewed by:

M. Pilar Francino, Center for Public Health Research, Spain
Jun Liu, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, USA

Copyright: © 2011 van Hoek, Mevius, Guerra, Mullany, Roberts and Aarts. This is an open-access article subject to a non-exclusive license between the authors and Frontiers Media SA, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and other Frontiers conditions are complied with.

*Correspondence: Henk J. M. Aarts, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Antonie van Leeuwenhoekla 9, 3721 MA Bilthoven, Utrecht, Netherlands. e-mail: henk.aarts@rivm.nl