Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2001; 3(3):223-242
β-Lactamases are represented by extensive range of genetically and functionally different enzymes that are able to destroy β-lactams that leads to development of resistance to these antibiotics in β-lactamases producing bacteria. Intrinsic production of β-lactamases is a common phenomenon for wide range of microorganisms. But at the present time the wide spread of plasmid-mediated β-lactamases that leads to secondary (acquired) resistance to β-lactams becoming more common. The aim of this review is to describe the main structural and functional groups of β-lactamases of aerobic Gram-negative bacteria, with especial attention to plasmid-mediated TEM- and SHV-types β-lactamases, their evolution and role in the development of resistance to different β-lactams. The recent methods of detection and typing of β-lactamases are described.