Boukare ZEBA, Jacques SIMPORE, Odile G. NACOULMA ;
African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 4 (3), pp. 286-288, ISSN 1684–5315 © 2005
Bacteria escape the action of b-lactam antibiotics by producing hydrolytic enzymes, b-lactamases (Abraham and Chain, 1940). These enzymes are able to hydrolyse the b-lactam ring and give products which are harmless to bacteria. There are four classes of b-lactamases on the basis of molecular structure (Ambler, 1975, 1980, Ambler and Scott,1978) or functional characteristics (Bush,1988, 1989 a, b). Among them, metallo-blactamases (MBL) which belong to the molecular class B constitute a distinct family of b-lactamases (MBL).
Metallo-b-lactamases from most pathogenic bacteria are active with two Zn(II) ions bound to their active site (Ullah et al ., 1998 ;Wang et al, 1998). These enzymes are mainly reported in Asia and Europe. During our survey of b-lactamase incidence in bacterial resistance to b-lactam antibiotics we encountered a strain producing metallo-blactamase. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that the metallo-b-lactamase has been reported on the African continent. The aim of this simple communication is to inform the scientific community,
before undertaking further studies.