From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia

Cross-resistance is a phenomenon that occurs when a strain of bacteria, virus, or cancer cells that has developed resistance to a certain type of drug or antibiotic also develops resistance to other drugs or antibiotics that it has not been exposed to. This can occur through a variety of mechanisms, including changes in the cell membrane, efflux pumps, and enzyme activity.

Mechanisms of Cross-Resistance[edit | edit source]

Cross-resistance can occur through several mechanisms. One common mechanism is through changes in the cell membrane. The cell membrane can become less permeable to certain drugs, preventing them from entering the cell and exerting their effects. This can result in resistance to multiple drugs that rely on entering the cell to work.

Another mechanism of cross-resistance is through the action of efflux pumps. These are proteins in the cell membrane that actively pump drugs out of the cell. If a cell develops an efflux pump that can pump out a certain drug, it may also be able to pump out other drugs with similar structures, leading to cross-resistance.

Changes in enzyme activity can also lead to cross-resistance. Some drugs work by inhibiting certain enzymes in the cell. If the cell changes the structure of these enzymes so that they are no longer inhibited by the drug, this can lead to resistance. If the changed enzyme is also involved in the action of other drugs, this can lead to cross-resistance.

Implications of Cross-Resistance[edit | edit source]

The development of cross-resistance has significant implications for the treatment of infections and cancer. It can limit the options available for treatment and make infections and cancers more difficult to control. This is a particular concern with multidrug-resistant strains of bacteria and viruses, as well as with certain types of cancer.

In order to combat cross-resistance, it is important to use drugs judiciously and to develop new drugs that can overcome resistance mechanisms. Research is also being conducted into ways to reverse resistance, such as by developing drugs that can inhibit efflux pumps or restore the sensitivity of changed enzymes.

See Also[edit | edit source]

Cross-resistance Resources
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