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BACKGROUND: Both intrinsic and acquired multidrug resistance play an important role in the insurgence of tuberculosis. Detailed knowledge of the molecular basis of drug recognition and transport by multidrug transport systems is required for the development of new antibiotics that are not extruded or of inhibitors that block the multidrug transporter and allow traditional antibiotics to be effective. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We have undertaken the inventory of the drug transporters subfamily, included in the major facilitator superfamily (MFS), encoded by the complete genome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB). These proteins were identified on the basis of their characteristic stretches of amino acids and transmembrane segments (TMS) number. CONCLUSIONS: Genome analysis and searches of homology between the identified transporters and proteins characterized in other organisms revealed 16 open reading frames encoding putative drug efflux pumps belonging to MFS. In the case of two of them, we also have demonstrated that they function as drug efflux proteins.