3.1 Intrinsic resistance to cephalosporins
Several bacteria are intrinsically resistant to cephalosporins. As a result, infections caused by these bacteria cannot be treated with cephalosporins. Some of these intrinsically resistant bacteria are summarised in Table 1.
Table 1 Bacteria intrinsically resistant to cephalosporins
|Type||Infectious disease||Resistance mechanism (Cox and Wright, 2013)||Resistance|
||Expresses cephalosporinase which deactivates cephalosporins||Resistant to 1st and 2nd generation cephalosporins*|
|Enterococci spp.||Urinary tract infections, bacteraemia,
||Expresses a modified antibiotic target (PBP) that binds to β-lactams poorly||Resistant to 1st and 2nd generation cephalosporins. Some resistance to 3rd generation cephalosporins*|
|Listeria monocytogenes||Expresses a modified antibiotic target (PBP) that binds to cephalosporins poorly||Resistant to 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation cephalosporins*|
While intrinsic resistance limits the treatment options for infections caused by these pathogens, a greater concern is cephalosporin resistance being acquired by other
The massive use of cephalosporin antibiotics to treat infections has led to the emergence of these bacteria, as you will see in the case studies in Weeks 4 and 5. But next you will look at the mechanisms of resistance to cephalosporins.