How to Measure Export via Bacterial Multidrug Resistance Efflux Pumps

Jessica M A Blair, Laura J V Piddock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)
432 Downloads (Pure)


Bacterial multidrug resistance (MDR) efflux pumps are an important mechanism of antibiotic resistance and are required for many pathogens to cause infection. They are also being harnessed to improve microbial biotechnological processes, including biofuel production. Therefore, scientists of many specialties must be able to accurately measure efflux activity. However, myriad methodologies have been described and the most appropriate method is not always clear. Within the scientific literature, many methods are misused or data arising are misinterpreted. The methods for measuring efflux activity can be split into two groups, (i) those that directly measure efflux and (ii) those that measure the intracellular accumulation of a substrate, which is then used to infer efflux activity. Here, we review the methods for measuring efflux and explore the most recent advances in this field, including single-cell or cell-free technologies and mass spectrometry, that are being used to provide more detailed information about efflux pump activity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00840-16
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2016


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