Antibiotics

Recycling antibiotic sensitivity

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Science  02 Feb 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6375, pp. 531-532
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6375.531-f

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is accompanied by chronic lung infections, requiring lifelong consumption of many antibiotics to maintain airway function. Antibiotic resistance and clinical deterioration are apparently inevitable. In a multifactorial study, Imamovic et al. discovered that mutations in Pseudomonas aeruginosa that endow resistance to some classes of antibiotic concomitantly result in sensitivity to others. For example, in any strain of P. aeruginosa, resistance to the fluoroquinolone ciprofloxacin was consistently associated with sensitivity to aminoglycoside antibiotics, such as amikacin. In this case, resistance was mediated by mutations in the transcriptional regulator nfxB of the MexC transporter. Using biomarkers such as nfxB, it appears to be possible to design antibiotic regimens for individual CF sufferers that flip resistant bacteria between predictable drug-sensitive states.

Cell 10.1016/j.cell.2017.12.012 (2018).

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