from Yaramah M. Zalucki, Alexandra D. Mercante, Jason M. Cloward, Elizabeth A. Ohneck, Justin L. Kandler, Maira Goytia, Paul J.T. Johnson and William M. Shafer writing in Microbial Efflux Pumps: Current Research:
The export action of efflux pumps is a nearly universal mechanism used by bacteria to escape the action of toxic compounds in their environment. Antimicrobials faced by bacteria include various biocides (natural or synthetic) and classical antibiotics used in therapy of infections. Certain efflux pumps also export antimicrobials produced by their hosts and this ability likely enhances the survival of the infecting pathogen, especially during early stages of infection when mediators of innate host defense normally function to reduce the microbial load. This review is concerned with the roles of efflux pumps produced by Neisseria gonorrhoeae in contributing to its resistance to antimicrobials used in therapy of infections or those that participate in innate host defense. Specific emphasis is placed on the genetic organization, transcriptional regulation, and function of gonococcal efflux pumps. The major theme of this review is that in addition to their role in enhancing bacterial resistance to classical antibiotics and biocides, certain efflux pumps, such as those harbored by strict human pathogens like gonococci, can also influence in vivo fitness and survival of bacteria since they provide a mechanism to resist natural antimicrobials produced by their host.
Further reading: Microbial Efflux Pumps: Current Research