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Cooperation, competition and antibiotic resistance in bacterial colonies

Frost, Isabel and Smith, William P.J. and Mitri, Sara and San Millan, Alvaro and Davit, Yohan and Osborne, James M. and Pitt-Francis, Joe and MacLean, R. Craig and Foster, Kevin R. Cooperation, competition and antibiotic resistance in bacterial colonies. (2018) ISME Journal, 12. 1582-1593. ISSN 1751-7362

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41396-018-0090-4

Abstract

Bacteria commonly live in dense and genetically diverse communities associated with surfaces. In these communities, competition for resources and space is intense, and yet we understand little of how this affects the spread of antibiotic- resistant strains. Here, we study interactions between antibiotic-resistant and susceptible strains using in vitro competition experiments in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa and in silico simulations. Selection for intracellular resistance to streptomycin is very strong in colonies, such that resistance is favoured at very low antibiotic doses. In contrast, selection for extracellular resistance to carbenicillin is weak in colonies, and high doses of antibiotic are required to select for resistance. Manipulating the density and spatial structure of colonies reveals that this difference is partly explained by the fact that the local degradation of carbenicillin by β-lactamase-secreting cells protects neighbouring sensitive cells from carbenicillin. In addition, we discover a second unexpected effect: the inducible elongation of cells in response to carbenicillin allows sensitive cells to better compete for the rapidly growing colony edge. These combined effects mean that antibiotic treatment can select against antibiotic-resistant strains, raising the possibility of treatment regimes that suppress sensitive strains while limiting the rise of antibiotic resistance. We argue that the detailed study of bacterial interactions will be fundamental to understanding and overcoming antibiotic resistance.

Item Type:Article
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - INPT (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UPS (FRANCE)
Other partners > University of Melbourne (AUSTRALIA)
Other partners > Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy - CDDEP (USA)
Other partners > Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal - IRYCIS (SPAIN)
Other partners > Université de Lausanne - UNIL (SWITZERLAND)
Other partners > University of Oxford (UNITED KINGDOM)
Laboratory name:
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Deposited By: Yohan DAVIT
Deposited On:23 Nov 2018 12:38

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