Relevant role of efflux pumps in high levels of rifaximin resistance in Escherichia coli clinical isolates

C. Gomes, L. Ruiz, M. J. Pons, T. J. Ochoa, J. Ruiz

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17 Scopus citations


Background: Enteropathogens have shown a high level of resistance against commonly used antibacterial drugs in Peru and it is necessary to explore alternative treatments. The aim of this study was to analyse the in vitro activity of rifaximin against diarrhoeagenic and commensal Escherichia coli in children less than 2 years of age. Methods: The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) to rifampicin and rifaximin was determined for 210 strains in the presence and absence of phenyl-arginine-β-naphthylamide (PAβN) and the mechanisms of resistance were investigated. Results: The MIC levels ranged between 8 and >256 mg/litre and the predominant mechanism of resistance to rifaximin was the efflux pumps inhibited by PAβN in 95.2% of the isolates. Conclusions: The present MIC values are higher than those observed in other studies. Efflux pumps inhibited by PAβN were the cause of the rifaximin resistance in the majority of cases and suggest the presence of an environmental selective pressure. Consequently, rifaximin should be used with caution in the treatment of diarrhoea in Peru.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbertrt059
Pages (from-to)545-549
Number of pages5
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Diarrhoea
  • Efflux pumps
  • Escherichia coli
  • Rifaximin


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