Bacterial hypermutation: Clinical implications

Anne Jolivet-Gougeon, Bela Kovacs, Sandrine L. Le Gall-David, Hervé Le Bars, Latifa Bousarghin, Martine Bonnaure-Mallet, Bernard Lobe, François Guillé, Claude James Soussy, Peter Tenke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

48 Citations (Scopus)


Heritable hypermutation in bacteria is mainly due to alterations in the methyl-directed mismatch repair (MMR) system. MMR-deficient strains have been described from several bacterial species, and all of the strains exhibit increased mutation frequency and recombination, which are important mechanisms for acquired drug resistance in bacteria. Antibiotics select for drug-resistant strains and refine resistance determinants on plasmids, thus stimulating DNA recombination via the MMR system. Antibiotics can also act as indirect promoters of antibiotic resistance by inducing the SOS system and certain error-prone DNA polymerases. These alterations have clinical consequences in that efficacious treatment of bacterial infections requires high doses of antibiotics and/or a combination of different classes of antimicrobial agents. There are currently few new drugs with low endogenous resistance potential, and the development of such drugs merits further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-573
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of medical microbiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)

Cite this

Jolivet-Gougeon, A., Kovacs, B., Le Gall-David, S. L., Le Bars, H., Bousarghin, L., Bonnaure-Mallet, M., Lobe, B., Guillé, F., Soussy, C. J., & Tenke, P. (2011). Bacterial hypermutation: Clinical implications. Journal of medical microbiology, 60(5), 563-573.