Understanding antibiotic resistance
Understanding antibiotic resistance

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Understanding antibiotic resistance

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
Pseudomonas aeruginosa Nosocomial infections including pneumonia, urinary tract infections and bacteraemia Expresses cephalosporinase which deactivates cephalosporins Resistant to 1st and 2nd generation cephalosporins*
Enterococci spp. Urinary tract infections, bacteraemia, bacterial endocarditis, diverticulitis and meningitis 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 Listeriosis Expresses a modified antibiotic target (PBP) that binds to cephalosporins poorly Resistant to 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation cephalosporins*
* you will learn more about different generations of cephalosporins in Week 6

While intrinsic resistance limits the treatment options for infections caused by these pathogens, a greater concern is cephalosporin resistance being acquired by other intrinsically susceptible bacterial types. Some of these bacteria, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), are of huge clinical importance.

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.

UAR_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has nearly 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus