Acquired Resistance

∞ generated and posted on 2016.12.04 ∞

Mutational or horizontal gene transfer-conferred ability to interfere with the action of environmental toxins, poisons, and degradants.

Acquired resistance is the acquisition by mutation or instead by the acquisition of new genes, particularly on plasmids, of resistance to such things as antibiotics or heavy metals. These mechanisms are best understood in bacteria, and particularly antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens.

Acquired resistance is most notably studied in terms of antibiotic resistance and contrasts particularly with the concept of innate resistance, which also can be described as a characteristic of innate immunity such as to pathogens.

Figure legend: Means of acquisition of, for example, antibiotic resistance. These can be via mutations, which typically are chromosomal, or instead via horizontal gene transfer (i.e., migration in a Hardy-Weinberg sense), which typically is extrachromosomal.

Another name for acquired resistance is active resistance, though active resistance has numerous connotations beyond that of microbial resistance to environmental degradants.