Antibiotics: Pharmacokinetics, toxicity, resistance and multidrug efflux pumps

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Abstract

The discovery of penicillin followed by streptomycin, tetracycline, cephalosporins and other natural, semi-synthetic and synthetic antimicrobials completely revolutionized medicine by reducing human morbidity and mortality from most of the common infections. However, shortly after they were introduced to clinical practice, the development of resistance was emerged. The decreasing interest from antibiotic industry in spite of rapid global emergence of antibiotic resistance is a tough dilemma from the pointview of public health. The efficiency of antimicrobial treatment is determined by both pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. In spite of their selective toxicity, antibiotics still cause severe, life-threatening adverse reactions in host body mostly due to defective drug metabolism or excessive dosing regimen. The present article aims at updating current knowledge on pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics concepts and models, toxicity of antibiotics as well as antibiotic resistance mechanisms, resistome analyses and search for novel antibiotic resistance determinants with special emphasis given to the-state-of-the-art regarding multidrug efflux pumps and their additional physiological functions in stress adaptation and virulence of bacteria. All these issues are highly linked to each other and not only important for most efficient and prolonged use of current antibiotics, but also for discovery and development of new antibiotics and novel inhibitors of antibiotic resistance determinants of pathogens.

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