Resistance is futile: using maths to fight bacteria

“The danger is that bacterial infections may develop resistance to all available antibiotics, rendering them untreatable.”

Hide

As the development of new classes of antibiotics slows, bacterial resistance to existing drugs is becoming an increasing problem, with many fearing the advent of a post-antibiotic era. To counter this threat, we are developing a two-pronged attack: using a novel treatment strategy, guided by mathematical modelling.

Antibiotics act directly upon bacteria, either killing them or inhibiting their growth. Within any population of bacteria some will be susceptible to a chosen antibiotic, whilst others may exhibit varying degrees of resistance.

Therefore, antibiotics exert a ‘selective pressure’ upon bacteria, favouring the resistant strains, such that they become dominant in the population. If bacteria become resistant to a particular type of antibiotic, then an alternative variety may be used. In many cases this will clear an infection, in others the bacteria become resistant to this second treatment. At this point the bacteria are said to be multidrug resistant, and are often referred to as ‘superbugs’.

The danger is that bacterial infections may develop resistance to all available antibiotics, rendering them untreatable. As we begin to lose this arms race, it is imperative that we open up the battle on other fronts, developing alternative treatments and using them as effectively as possible.

We are building mathematical models to optimise the treatment of bacterial infections, using a new therapy developed by our collaborators in the Krachler Lab, here at the University of Birmingham.

In order for bacteria to gain a foothold in a host, they must bind to the host cells. This both protects them from mechanical clearance and assault by immune cells, and allows them to deploy an arsenal of so called ‘virulence mechanisms’, which reprogram the host cells to facilitate infection.

Dr Krachler has developed a new molecule, called MAM7, which binds to host cells, preventing the invading bacteria from doing likewise. In theory, this treatment should exert no selective pressure upon the bacteria, since any adaptation would merely result in them binding less effectively to host cells. Bacteria may then be cleared from the body by a combination of mechanical forces, the immune system and antibiotics.

Treatment of epithelial cells using MAM7
Treatment of epithelial cells using MAM7. The green staining shows the skeletons of the cells and the blue staining shows the DNA-containing nuclei. A) untreated cells. B) cells treated with beads coated in MAM7 (beads are seen as yellow blobs). Figure reproduced, with permission, from Krachler et al. (2012).

Mathematical models may be used to determine the optimum treatment regimen, ensuring that bacteria are cleared as quickly as possible, whilst minimising the risk that resistance develops.

Mathematics enables us to extend the reach of experimental and clinical studies in at least three ways. Firstly, it allows us to understand and predict the behaviour of inherently ‘nonlinear’ biological systems. These nonlinearities are caused by feedback within the system.

For example, a nonlinear system could be represented as follows: A➝B➝C➝A, where the letters represent components in the system and the arrows represent effects exerted by one component upon another. In this case A feeds back on itself via B and C.

Secondly, it enables us to manipulate the system in ways that may not be possible experimentally. In this way we may evaluate the relative importance and effect of each component. For example, we could vary the rate of exchange of genes coding for antibiotic resistance between bacteria, to test the effect this has upon the size of the bacterial population over time. Lastly, it enables us to consider a wider range of scenarios and hypotheses than would be experimentally feasible, due to time, space or financial limitations.

Thus, theoretical modelling complements experimental studies, forming an experiment/modelling cycle: models are used to test biological hypotheses, and may then be used to make predictions which can be tested experimentally.

It is hoped that this study will help us to keep a step ahead in the fight against bacterial infections. A fight that it is critical we win.

Have your say...

Feedback
  • 88952634
    External
    1. At 10:55AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    2. At 10:56AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    3. At 10:56AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    4. At 10:56AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    5. At 10:56AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    6. At 10:56AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    7. At 10:56AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    8. At 10:56AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    9. At 10:56AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    10. At 10:56AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    11. At 10:56AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    12. At 10:56AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    13. At 10:56AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    14. At 10:56AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    15. At 10:57AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    16. At 10:57AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    17. At 10:57AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    18. At 10:57AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    19. At 10:57AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    20. At 10:57AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    21. At 10:57AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    22. At 10:57AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634'`"(
    External
    23. At 10:57AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634-0
    External
    24. At 10:57AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634s3
    External
    25. At 10:57AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634'+'
    External
    26. At 10:57AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634'
    External
    27. At 10:57AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634'||'
    External
    28. At 10:58AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634'
    External
    29. At 10:58AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    30. At 10:58AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    31. At 10:59AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    32. At 10:59AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    33. At 10:59AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    34. At 10:59AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    35. At 10:59AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    36. At 10:59AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    37. At 10:59AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    38. At 10:59AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    39. At 10:59AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    40. At 10:59AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    41. At 10:59AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    42. At 10:59AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    43. At 10:59AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    44. At 10:59AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    45. At 10:59AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    46. At 11:00AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    47. At 11:00AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    48. At 11:00AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    49. At 11:00AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    50. At 11:00AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    51. At 11:00AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    52. At 11:00AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    53. At 11:01AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    54. At 11:01AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    55. At 11:01AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    56. At 11:01AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    57. At 11:01AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634

  • 88952634
    External
    58. At 11:01AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634'`"(

  • 88952634
    External
    59. At 11:02AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634-0

  • 88952634
    External
    60. At 11:02AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634s3

  • 88952634
    External
    61. At 11:02AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634'+'

  • 88952634
    External
    62. At 11:02AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634'

  • 88952634
    External
    63. At 11:02AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634'||'

  • 88952634
    External
    64. At 11:02AM on 11 December 2016, wrote

    88952634'

  • 88952634
    External
    65. At 2:58PM on 02 August 2017, wrote

    88952634

  • Jane
    External
    66. At 7:44AM on 16 February 2022, Jane wrote

    This is bacteria we are talking about, antibiotics and stuff. But how about virus' adaptation abilities?

    Jane, https://www.aucklandpestcontrolnz.kiwi/\

  • https://nonoyfifi.com/134719-2/
    External
    67. At 10:10AM on 21 February 2022, wrote

    Learning to Code is like learning to write. You don’t know how difficult it is to write a masterpiece until you try. It takes extraordinary effort to write something that is seemingly simple and elegant.

  • foyer
    External
    68. At 7:20AM on 03 March 2022, foyer wrote

    My experience tells me the Amazon exams are not a trivial issue. So, in the event you as well aim to be the next Amazon DAS-C01 Certification certified specialist. You have to get these DAS-C01 practice questions as me. This study solution is valid plus genuine. Plus, it is enough to make sure you are ready to taking the exam. The Dumpspass4sure staff is so valuable and gives you useful instruction. So, you could get through the exam in first shot. Plus, your training is protected with the money back assurance. Hence, don’t bother buying selected fake and forged solution and acquire the DAS-C01 practice exam.

    You could have a look at a free sample here: https://www.dumpspass4sure.com/amazon/das-c01-dumps.html

  • hakem
    External
    69. At 7:23AM on 03 March 2022, hakem wrote

    I know that the Amazon exam has a standard to keep. This is why it is usually difficult for average candidates to know. Hence, the failure rate of the Amazon MLS-C01 Certification exam is always increasing. But, I know a procedure to pass the MLS-C01 Certification exam with the first shot. You could achieve that with the AWS Certified Machine Learning - Specialty practice exam at the Dumps4download.com. They provide enough demo questions to acquire an idea of the exam's pattern and pattern. The practiced IT experts selected all question cautiously. So, that every question is one of a kind with a high probability to show up in the exam. The AWS Certified Machine Learning - Specialty practice questions provide a performance based plan. So, order them instantly.

    Here's the link to buy: https://www.dumps4download.com/mls-c01-dumps.html

  • nicig
    External
    70. At 7:26AM on 03 March 2022, nicig wrote

    You mustn’t only rely on your schooling when it comes down to qualifying the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional exams. You also need to grasp the practical application of the Amazon SAP-C01 Certification gear. Let not your lack of solution hinder your exam accomplishment. Plus, buy the SAP-C01 practice exam today to examine your knowledge and give it an improvement. The Amazondumps.com joined hands with professionals to acquire applicants ready for real-world duties. With the assist of keeping the focus of the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional practice questions on the SAP-C01 Certification objectives. The SAP-C01 practice exam comes at an affordable price. The training finishes with you brimming with motivation. Plus promise of success on the single shot.

    Order them at this hyperlink: https://www.amazondumps.com/sap-c01-dumps.html

  • parapet wall
    External
    71. At 8:48AM on 11 March 2022, wrote

    State terrorism has been defined as acts of terrorism conducted by governments or terrorism carried out directly by, or encouraged and funded by, an established government of a state (country) or terrorism practiced by a government against its own people or in support of international terrorism.

    https://9to5civil.com/parapet-wall/

    https://9to5civil.com/mat-foundation/

    https://9to5civil.com/top-10-tiles-companies-in-india/

    https://9to5civil.com/gable-roof/

    https://9to5civil.com/lean-to-roof/

    https://9to5civil.com/foundation-in-the-building/

    https://9to5civil.com/road-pavement/

Add Your Feedback