Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version



Runge, C. 2023. Antimicrobial Resistance in ESKAPE Pathogens and its Effect on Modern Medicine and Treatment. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Cameran Runge 2023.



ESKAPE pathogens (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella

pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter

spp.) are seeing a growing resistance to multiple classes of antibiotics. Misuse and overuse of antibiotics have played directly into the resistance observed, and the problem is growing exponentially. Antibiotic resistance is partially due to several intrinsic factors limiting the drug's uptake. These include efflux pumps, increased biofilm production, and reduced cell wall permeability in the resistant bacteria. ESKAPE pathogens also acquire resistance through horizontal gene transfer and plasmids. As antibiotics have become less effective, the bacteria can continue to thrive, leading to a detrimental outcome of previously treatable infections. Antibiotic resistance has increased the importance of new drug development, greater development of therapies, and improved education surrounding ESKAPE pathogens.

Key Words: ESKAPE pathogens, microbiology, antibiotic resistance