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The Extent of Antimicrobial Resistance Due to Efflux Pump Regulation

Barnabas, V and Kashyap, A and Raja, R and Newar, K and Rai, D and Dixit, NM and Mehra, S (2022) The Extent of Antimicrobial Resistance Due to Efflux Pump Regulation. In: ACS Infectious Diseases .

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1021/acsinfecdis.2c00460


A key mechanism driving antimicrobial resistance (AMR) stems from the ability of bacteria to up-regulate efflux pumps upon exposure to drugs. The resistance gained by this up-regulation is pliable because of the tight regulation of efflux pump levels. This leads to temporary enhancement in survivability of bacteria due to higher efflux pump levels in the presence of antibiotics, which can be reversed when the cells are no longer exposed to the drug. Knowledge of the extent of resistance thus gained would inform intervention strategies aimed at mitigating AMR. Here, we combine mathematical modeling and experiments to quantify the maximum extent of resistance that efflux pump up-regulation can confer via phenotypic induction in the presence of drugs and genotypic abrogation of regulation. Our model describes the dynamics of drug transport in and out of cells coupled with the associated regulation of efflux pump levels and predicts the increase in the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of drugs due to such regulation. To test the model, we measured the uptake and efflux as well as the MIC of the compound ethidium bromide (EtBr), a substrate of the efflux pump LfrA, in wild-type Mycobacterium smegmatis mc2155, as well as in two laboratory-generated strains. Our model captured the observed EtBr levels and MIC fold-changes quantitatively. Further, the model identified key parameters associated with the resulting resistance, variations in which could underlie the extent to which such resistance arises across different drug-bacteria combinations, potentially offering tunable handles to optimize interventions aimed at minimizing AMR.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: ACS Infectious Diseases
Publisher: American Chemical Society
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to American Chemical Society.
Keywords: Antibiotic resistance; Efflux pump; Mathematical model; Minimum Inhibitory Concentration; Regulation
Department/Centre: Division of Interdisciplinary Sciences > Centre for Biosystems Science and Engineering
Division of Mechanical Sciences > Chemical Engineering
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2022 05:19
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2022 05:19
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/77901

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