A new study suggests that the evolution of antibiotic tolerance requires further investigation if newly designed antibiotic treatments are going to be able to prevent drug-resistant infections. Image Credit:Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock.com
The research, conducted by a team in Jerusalem, found that the emergence of antibiotic tolerance can promote bacteria’s resistance to drugs, even if a combination of antibiotics is used.
The emergence of antimicrobial resistance in cases of potentially life-threatening infections is an ever-growing concern worldwide. During 2019, more than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections were identified in the United States alone and in 35,000 cases, the infections resulted in death.
In cases of intractable infections such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which are difficult to treat, clinicians commonly use a combination of antibiotics. The hope is that even if bacterial populations have developed resistance to multiple drugs, one of the antibiotics may be able to counter resist a partner drug in order to provide effective treatment, reducing the chances of resistance emerging. “Little is known about the effect of tolerance”
Previous studies have shown that bacteria can quickly develop tolerance to a single antibiotic treatment, which can then promote resistance. However, whether this tolerance affects the emergence of resistance when drug combinations are used, is not yet clear.
If tolerance has already emerged to one drug, the combination may end up promoting the transmission of resistance to a partner drug. Little is known about the effect of tolerance, a different mode of survival, on the efficacy of drug combinations for preventing the evolution of resistance.” Jiafeng Liu (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) The team monitored the evolutionary trajectory of MRSA Related Stories
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