Antimicrobial Resistance in Bacterial Pathogens: Mechanisms and PCRBased Detection Technologies
Pp. 33-58 (26)
Bashar W. Shaheen, Rajesh Nayak and Dawn M. Boothe
In the last decade, antimicrobial resistance has been widespread in several bacterial species.
This increase in resistance could be associated with an increase in the use of different antimicrobials to
treat infections caused by pathogenic bacteria. While resistance to antimicrobials is often attributed to
known mechanisms, other mechanisms are still under investigation for many bacterial species.
Detection of antimicrobial resistance often involves conventional agar, broth or disk diffusion assays.
However, these methods can be cumbersome and time consuming compared to molecular methods.
Consequently, several polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques have been developed to expedite the
detection of antimicrobial resistance in bacterial pathogens. PCR-based technologies are rapid, sensitive
and specific for detecting antimicrobial resistance. Application of such technologies in diagnostic
laboratories can provide insight into emerging mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance in veterinary
pathogens. In this chapter, we describe molecular mechanisms of drug resistance in microbial pathogens
and the potential advantages and disadvantages of PCR-based methods.
Antimicrobial resistance; polymerase chain reaction; mechanisms of resistance; susceptibility
testing; molecular methods; bacterial pathogens; antimicrobials; DNA sequencing; detection.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, National Center for Toxicological Research, Division of Microbiology, Jefferson, AR 72079-9502, USA.