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β -Lactamases- the Threat Renews

[ Vol. 10 , Issue. 5 ]


David M. Livermore   Pages 397 - 400 ( 4 )


β-Lactamases are the greatest single source of resistance to β-lactam antibiotics. For over 60 years, clinicians have seen a pattern whereby useful new β-lactam analogues are introduced but then select for new β-lactamases that cause resistance. Thus, penicillin G was undermined by swift accumulation of staphylococcal penicillinase, ampicillin by TEM- 1 enzyme and modern oxymino cephalosporins by “extended-spectrum” β-lactamases. Tony Finks work contributed greatly to our understanding of the mechanisms and active site function of β-lactamases and this knowledge now informs the search for new β-lactams and β-lactamase inhibitors.

, β, -Lactamases-, the, Threat, Renews


Antibiotic Resistance Monitoring and Reference Laboratory, Health Protection Agency Centre for Infections, 61 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5EQ, UK.

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