Journal article

Beyond dose: Pulsed antibiotic treatment schedules can maintain individual benefit while reducing resistance

Christopher M Baker, Matthew J Ferrari, Katriona Shea

SCIENTIFIC REPORTS | NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP | Published : 2018

Abstract

The emergence of treatment-resistant microbes is a key challenge for disease treatment and a leading threat to human health and wellbeing. New drugs are always in development, but microbes regularly and rapidly acquire resistance. We must consider if altering how we administer drugs at the individual level could slow development of resistance. Here we use mathematical models to show that exposing microbes to drug pulses could greatly reduce resistance without increasing individual pathogen load. Our results stem from two key factors: the presence of antibiotics creates a selection pressure for antibiotic resistant microbes, and large populations of bacteria are more likely to harbor drug res..

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Grants

Awarded by Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease program of the NSF/NIH


Awarded by National Science Foundation


Awarded by NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF GENERAL MEDICAL SCIENCES


Funding Acknowledgements

Christopher Baker is the recipient of a John Stocker Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Science and Industry Endowment Fund. The authors are all supported by a grant from the Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease program of the NSF/NIH (award number 1 R01 GM105247-01). Katriona Shea is additionally supported by National Science Foundation award DEB-1556444. We thank Ottar Bjornstad, Emma Fulkes, Timothy Reluga and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.