The intrinsic resistome of bacterial pathogens

Jorge Olivares, Alejandra Bernardini, Guillermo Garcia-Leon, Fernando Corona, Maria B. Sanchez, Jose L. Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


Intrinsically resistant bacteria have emerged as a relevant health problem in the last years. Those bacterial species, several of them with an environmental origin, present naturally low-level susceptibility to several drugs. It has been proposed that intrinsic resistance is mainly the consequence of the impermeability of cellular envelopes, the activity of multidrug efflux pumps or the lack of appropriate targets for a given family of drugs. However, recently published articles indicate that the characteristic phenotype of susceptibility to antibiotics of a given bacterial species depends on the concerted activity of several elements, what has been named as intrinsic resistome. These determinants comprise not just classical resistance genes. Other elements, several of them involved in basic bacterial metabolic processes, are of relevance for the intrinsic resistance of bacterial pathogens. In the present review we analyze recent publications on the intrinsic resistomes of Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We present as well information on the role that global regulators of bacterial metabolism, as Crc from P. aeruginosa, may have on modulating bacterial susceptibility to antibiotics. Finally, we discuss the possibility of searching inhibitors of the intrinsic resistome in the aim of improving the activity of drugs currently in use for clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Issue numberAPR
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Biofilms
  • Intrinsic resistance
  • MDR efflux pump
  • Persistence
  • Phenotypic resistance
  • Swarming


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