EEB Thursday Seminar: Spatiotemporal dynamics of antibiotic response in e. faecalis
Kevin Wood, UM Departments of Biophysics and Physics
Antibiotic resistance is among the most urgent threats to public health. In this talk, I will discuss our group’s ongoing efforts to understand how E. faecalis, a common source of nosocomial infections, responds to antibiotics across multiple length and time scales. First, I’ll describe recent experiments demonstrating that growth inhibition depends strongly on population density for many commonly used antibiotics, potentially leading to bistable treatment outcomes in a pharmacological model of antibiotic treatment. Perhaps more surprisingly, in the limit of high population densities, subinhibitory antibiotic concentrations can promote formation of biofilms--an effect that reflects a trade-off between antibiotic efficacy and the beneficial effects of cell lysis--while higher doses can shape the single-cell architecture of drug resistant communities. Finally, I’ll overview ongoing work combining laboratory evolution with mathematical modeling aimed at slowing resistance evolution using temporal sequences of antibiotics.
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