The sulfonamides are analogues of p-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) and are competitive inhibitors of dihydropteroate synthase, an enzyme required for proliferation in some bacteria. Because they inhibit a required product, folic acid, they are bacteriostatic. Resistance to sulfonamides primarily occurs via mutation in the folP gene that reduces binding affinity of the sulfonamides, or by plasmid or chromosomally encoded sul genes that encode forms of dihydropteroate synthase that are not inhibited by sulfonamides.
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