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Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy

Gentamicin uptake in Staphylococcus aureus possessing plasmid-encoded, aminoglycoside-modifying enzymes.


PMID 6517546

Abstract

[3H]gentamicin uptake and killing were studied in three strains of gentamicin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus possessing plasmid-encoded, gentamicin-modifying enzymes and in three isogenic, enzyme-free, gentamicin-susceptible derivatives. At low (less than or equal to 2.0 micrograms/ml) concentrations of gentamicin, uptake by resistant organisms was impaired compared with that of susceptible strains, and no killing was noted. In contrast, at higher (2.5 to 10.0 micrograms/ml) concentrations (which were below the MIC for the resistant strains), rapid gentamicin uptake similar to that seen in susceptible isolates was observed. Although growth inhibition at these concentrations was apparent, there was no loss of viability in resistant strains. Consistently, the membrane H+-ATPase inhibitor N,N'-dicyclohexyl carbodiimide caused resistant strains to take up low concentrations (1.0 microgram/ml) of gentamicin at rates comparable to those seen in susceptible organisms without causing an associated loss of viability. These studies show differences between gentamicin uptake in S. aureus and streptomycin uptake in Escherichia coli (Dickie et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 14:569-580, 1978) regarding the kinetics of uptake in resistant strains with plasmid-encoded aminoglycoside-modifying enzymes. Specifically, they suggest that for 2-deoxystreptamine compounds such as gentamicin, ribosomal binding followed by accelerated uptake and subsequent interference with cell growth may occur without invariably being associated with lethal effect.

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