The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) lists Pseudomonas aeruginosa as one of the six most dangerous bacteria (the “ESKAPE” pathogens) because they effectively escape the effects of antibacterial drugs (so called multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria). Currently, no antibiotics exist to treat infections with some strains of such MDR Gram-negative bacteria, like Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii.
Bacteria can become resistant to one or even several classes of antibiotics and transfer their resistance to other bacteria and species via gene transfer. The strategies used by bacteria to resist the actions of antibiotics include:
- reduced membrane permeability to the antibiotic
- increased efflux/decreased influx of antibiotic
- neutralization of the antibiotic by bacterial enzymes
- target modification by mutations and even
- target elimination
The widespread and uncritical (over)use of antibiotics in medicine and in agriculture and livestock industry have significantly contributed to the increasing occurrence of bacterial resistance to existing antibiotics. This requires the identification and development of antibiotics with novel modes of action for inhibiting bacterial growth that can overcome the resistance.