Recommended by Gail Teitzel, Editor of Trends in Microbiology
Antibiotic resistance is a bedevilling problem due to continued emergence of new resistance mechanisms and the spread of resistance leading to bacterial infections that are more difficult to treat. While these mechanisms are valuable to a bacterium to have in the presence of a particular antibiotic, these mutations are often costly to maintain. Yet they continue to be maintained in the absence of antibiotic stress. This review by Paulo Durão, Roberto Balbontín, and Isabel Gordo in Trends in Microbiology addresses this conundrum of how antibiotic resistance mechanisms are maintained, including compensation mutations and epistatic interactions. I enjoyed this in-depth view of the discussion of costs and compensations for how it could be used to think about better use of existing therapeutic options and developing new agents for the pressing problem of antibiotic resistance.
A link to the blog: