Mechanism of antibiotic resistance

Bacteria resist the effects of antibiotics by using the following genetic strategies, with thousands of variations2:

  • Producing destructive enzymes to neutralise antibiotics
  • Modifying antimicrobial targets, by mutation, so that drugs cannot recognise them
  • Removing antimicrobial agents by pumping them out from cell
  • Restricting access of the antibiotic from entering the cell by limiting the number or changing the size of the openings in the cell wall
  • Creating bypasses that allow bacteria to function without the enzymes targeted by antibiotics