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Alternate mutations in the grlA and gyrA genes were observed through the first- to fourth-step mutants which were obtained from four Staphylococcus aureus strains by sequential selection with several fluoroquinolones. The increases in the MICs of gatifloxacin accompanying those mutational steps suggest that primary targets of gatifloxacin in the wild type and the first-, second-, and third-step mutants are wild-type topoisomerase IV (topo IV), wild-type DNA gyrase, singly mutated topo IV, and singly mutated DNA gyrase, respectively. Gatifloxacin had activity equal to that of tosufloxacin and activity more potent than those of norfloxacin, ofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, and sparfloxacin against the second-step mutants (grlA gyrA; gatifloxacin MIC range, 1.56 to 3.13 microg/ml) and had the most potent activity against the third-step mutants (grlA gyrA grlA; gatifloxacin MIC range, 1.56 to 6.25 microg/ml), suggesting that gatifloxacin possesses the most potent inhibitory activity against singly mutated topo IV and singly mutated DNA gyrase among the quinolones tested. Moreover, gatifloxacin selected resistant mutants from wild-type and the second-step mutants at a low frequency. Gatifloxacin possessed potent activity (MIC, 0.39 microg/ml) against the NorA-overproducing strain S. aureus NY12, the norA transformant, which was slightly lower than that against the parent strain SA113. The increases in the MICs of the quinolones tested against NY12 were negatively correlated with the hydrophobicity of the quinolones (correlation coefficient, -0.93; P < 0.01). Therefore, this slight decrease in the activity of gatifloxacin is attributable to its high hydrophobicity. Those properties of gatifloxacin likely explain its good activity against quinolone-resistant clinical isolates of S. aureus harboring the grlA, gyrA, and/or norA mutations.


H Fukuda, S Hori, K Hiramatsu. Antibacterial activity of gatifloxacin (AM-1155, CG5501, BMS-206584), a newly developed fluoroquinolone, against sequentially acquired quinolone-resistant mutants and the norA transformant of Staphylococcus aureus. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. 1998 Aug;42(8):1917-22

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PMID: 9687384

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