Antibiotics (Basel). 2021 Apr 10;10(4):415. doi: 10.3390/antibiotics10040415.
Multidrug-resistant bacteria have on overwhelming impact on human health, as they cause over 670,000 infections and 33,000 deaths annually in the European Union alone. Of these, the vast majority of infections and deaths are caused by only a handful of species-multi-drug resistant Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococcus spp., Acinetobacter spp. and Klebsiella pneumoniae. These pathogens employ a multitude of antibiotic resistance mechanisms, such as the production of antibiotic deactivating enzymes, changes in antibiotic targets, or a reduction of intracellular antibiotic concentration, which render them insusceptible to multiple antibiotics. The purpose of this review is to summarize in a clinical manner the resistance mechanisms of each of these 6 pathogens, as well as the mechanisms of recently developed antibiotics designed to overcome them. Through a basic understanding of the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance, the clinician can better comprehend and predict resistance patterns even to antibiotics not reported on the antibiogram and can subsequently select the most appropriate antibiotic for the pathogen in question.