09.27.14

Combined phage – antibiotic therapies

Clara Torres-Barceló and EEC colleagues have published an article in PLoS ONE, investigating the impact of combined phage-antibiotic treatments on the nosocomial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Torres-Barceló C., Arias-Sanchez F., Vasse M., Ramsayer J., Kaltz O. & Hochberg M.E. 2014. A Window of Opportunity to Control the Bacterial Pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa Combining Antibiotics and Phages.  PLoS ONE DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0106628

The evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria is a global concern and the use of bacteriophages alone or in combined therapies is attracting increasing attention as an alternative. Evolutionary theory predicts that the probability of bacterial resistance to both phages and antibiotics will be lower than to either separately, due for example to fitness costs or to trade-offs between phage resistance mechanisms and bacterial growth. In this study, we assess the population impacts of either individual or combined treatments of a bacteriophage and streptomycin on the nosocomial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We show that combining phage and antibiotics substantially increases bacterial control compared to either separately, and that there is a specific time delay in antibiotic introduction independent of antibiotic dose, that minimizes both bacterial density and resistance to either antibiotics or phage. These results have implications for optimal combined therapeutic approaches.

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