Mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance among hospital-associated pathogens

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Introduction: The introduction of antibiotics revolutionized medicine in the 20th-century permitting the treatment of once incurable infections. Widespread use of antibiotics, however, has led to the development of resistant organisms, particularly in the healthcare setting. Today, the clinician is often faced with pathogens carrying a cadre of resistance determinants that severely limit therapeutic options. The genetic plasticity of microbes allows them to adapt to stressors via genetic mutations, acquisition or sharing of genetic material and modulation of genetic expression leading to resistance to virtually any antimicrobial used in clinical practice. Areas covered: This is a comprehensive review that outlines major mechanisms of resistance in the most common hospital-associated pathogens including bacteria and fungi. Expert commentary: Understanding the genetic and biochemical mechanisms of such antimicrobial adaptation is crucial to tackling the rapid spread of resistance, can expose unconventional therapeutic targets to combat multidrug resistant pathogens and lead to more accurate prediction of antimicrobial susceptibility using rapid molecular diagnostics. Clinicians making treatment decisions based on the molecular basis of resistance may design therapeutic strategies that include de-escalation of broad spectrum antimicrobial usage, more focused therapies or combination therapies. These strategies are likely to improve patient outcomes and decrease the risk of resistance in hospital settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-287
Number of pages19
JournalExpert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 3 2018


  • Antibiotic resistance
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • hospital-acquired infections
  • hospital-associated pathogens
  • mechanisms of resistance
  • nosocomial pathogens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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