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Keith Poole


  Contact Information:  
  Professor of of Microbiology and Immunology

Tel: (613) 533-6677
Fax:(613) 533-6796
email: poolek@post.queensu.ca

  Organisms such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Burkholderia cepacia and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia are intriniscally resistant to a wide range of antibiotics, and clinical multidrug resistance (resistance to high levels of many diverse antibiotics) is seen with increasing frequency in these organisms. The occurrence of such resistance renders these organisms refractory to treatment with many/most antibiotics currently available, complicating treatment of infections caused by them. Recent evidence indicates that drug efflux (i.e. the pumping out of antibiotics from the bacterial cell), mediated by membrane- associated pumps, plays an important role in the multidrug resistance of P. aeruginosa, B. cepacia and S. maltophlia. Multiple pumps have been identified in all three organisms and are currently being studied. The long-term goal of this project is to develop a means of inhibiting these pumps so as to increase the susceptibility of these organisms to antibiotics, making them more readily treatable with the existing armoury of antimicrobial agents.


Iron is essential for the growth of pathogenic microorganisms in the host and, thus, transport of this nutrient is essential to pathogenesis. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen of humans which elucidates a number of iron transport systems. Understanding the mechanisms by which these systems facilitate iron acquisition should provide a means of interfering with iron uptake, inhibiting growth and, therefore, infection. Current work is aimed at identifying and characterizing genes encoding uptake components as well as genes controlling expression of these uptake components.

  Poole, K. 2001. Overcoming antibiotic resistance by targeting resistance mechanisms. J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 53:283-294.

Poole, K. 2001. Multidrug efflux pumps and antimicrobial resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and related organisms. J. Mol. Microbiol. Biotech. 3:255-264.

Poole, K. 2001. Multidrug efflux in Pseudomonas aeruginosa: components, mechanisms and clinical significance. Curr. Top. Med. Chem. 1:59-71.

Poole, K. 2001. Multidrug efflux pumps and antimicrobial resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and related organisms. In Microbial Multidrug Efflux, Horizon Scientific Press, UK.

De Kievet,T.R., M.E. Parkins, R.J. Gillis, H. Ceri, R. Srikumar, K.Poole, B.H. Iglewski, and D.G. Storey. 2001. The contribution of multidrug efflux pumps to the antibiotic resistance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 45:1761-1770.

Zhao, Q., and K. Poole. 2000. A second tonB gene in Pseudomonas aeruginosa is linked to the exbB and exbD genes. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 184:127-132.

Li, X.-Z., L. Zhang, and K. Poole. 2000. Interplay of the MexA- MexB-OrM multidrug efflux system and the outer membrane barrier in multiple antibiotic resistance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 45:433-436.

Li, Xian-Zhi, N. Barre, and K. Poole. 2000. Influence of the MexAB-OprM multidrug efflux system on expression of the MexCD-OprJ and MexEFOprN multidrug efflux systems of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 46:885-893.

Zhang, Xian-Zhi Li, and K. Poole. 2000. Multiple antibiotic resistance in Stenotrophomonas maltophilia: involvement of a multidrug efflux system. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 44: 287-293.

Srikumar,R., C.J. Paul, and K. Poole. 2000. Influence of mutations in the mexR repressor gene on expression of the MexA- MexB-OprM multidrug efflux system of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. J. Bacteriol., 182:1410-1414.

Schalk, I.J., C. Hennard, C. Dugave, K. Poole, M.A. Abdallah, and F. Pattus. 2000. Binding of iron-free pyoverdine to its outer membrane receptor FpvA in Pseudomonas aeruginosa is regulated by TonB and the proton-motive-force. Mol. Microbiol., 39:351-360.

Li, X.-Z., and K. Poole. 2000. Mutational Analysis of the OprM Outer Membrane Component of the MexAB-OprM Multidrug Efflux System of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. J. Bacteriol.,183:12-27.

Evans, K., L. Adewoye, and K. Poole. 2000. MexR repressor of the mexAB-oprM multidrug efflux operon of Pseudomonas aeruginosa: identification of MexR binding sites in mexA-mexR intergenic region. J. Bacteriol.183:807-812.

Poole, K. 2000. Efflux-mediated resistance to quinolones in Gram-negative bacteria. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 44: 2233-2241.

Poole, K. 2000. Efflux-mediated resistance to quinolones in Gram-positive bacteria and the mycobacteria. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 44: 2595-2599.

Poole, K., and R. Srikumar. 2000. Assessing the activity of bacteral multidrug efflux pumps. In S.H. Gillespie (ed.), Antibiotic resistance methods, Humana Press, NJ.

Poole, K. 2000. Multidrug efflux pumps. In 2001 yearbook of science & technology, McGraw-Hill, NY.