Publication date

An important finding has been published in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy by Ana R. Freitas, Houyem Elghaieb et al., from the Bact-Drugs Lab at UCIBIO in Faculdade de Farmácia-Universidade do Porto (FFUP), led by Luísa Peixe, Professor at FFUP. Dedicated over years to the global surveillance and fighting of bacterial antibiotic resistance under the “One Health” dogma, the authors identified for the first time in Africa a gene (optrA) codifying for a transporter able to pump a class of antibiotics (oxazolodinones – linezolid and tedizolid) that is currently recognized as a last resort option in the treatment of multidrug-resistant infections caused by Gram-positive bacteria. “This gene was detected within a conjugative plasmid from an environmental Enterococcus faecalis isolate but it can rapidly spread to other relevant microorganisms such as Staphylococcus or Streptococcus, posing a risk to clinicians and Public Health in general”, explains Luísa Peixe.


A strong collaboration with researchers from Tunisia (Mohamed Abbassi, Abdenaceur Hasse, Université de Tunis El Manar, Tunis) and Spain (Teresa M. Coque, Ricardo León-Sampedro, Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Spain) was fundamental for the success of this work.


The results were published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (JAC), a highly ranked journal (Impact Factor: 5.071) of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC), which is among the foremost international journals in Antimicrobial Research. This article was highlighted as an Editor’s choice in the issue of December 2017 given its importance in a rapidly evolving field of high current interest. Each JAC monthly issue contains Editor’s Choice papers that the Editors see as special and significant contribution in the field and are open access to all to offer true value to the scientific, research and healthcare communities.


Lab photo (from the left to right): Houyem Elghaieb (PhD student from Tunis, Tunisia), Ana R. Freitas (Post-doc Researcher at UCIBIO-FFUP), Luísa Peixe (Associate Professor, UCIBIO-FFUP), Carla Novais (Assistant Professor, UCIBIO-FFUP).


Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Detection of optrA in the African continent (Tunisia) within a mosaic Enterococcus faecalis plasmid from urban wastewaters
Ana R. Freitas, Houyem Elghaieb, Ricardo León-Sampedro, Carla Novais, Teresa M. Coque, Abdennaceur Hassen, Luísa Peixe.
DOI: 10.1093/jac/dkx321