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Conventional wisdom holds that the best way to treat infection with antibiotics is to 'hit early and hit hard'. A favoured strategy is to deploy two antibiotics that produce a stronger effect in combination than if either drug were used alone. But are such synergistic combinations necessarily optimal? We combine mathematical modelling, evolution(More)
Phenotypic heterogeneity can confer clonal groups of organisms with new functionality. A paradigmatic example is the bistable expression of virulence genes in Salmonella typhimurium, which leads to phenotypically virulent and phenotypically avirulent subpopulations. The two subpopulations have been shown to divide labor during S. typhimurium infections.(More)
We need to find ways of enhancing the potency of existing antibiotics, and, with this in mind, we begin with an unusual question: how low can antibiotic dosages be and yet bacterial clearance still be observed? Seeking to optimise the simultaneous use of two antibiotics, we use the minimal dose at which clearance is observed in an in vitro experimental(More)
The purpose of this paper is to use mathematical models to investigate the claim made in the medical literature over a decade ago that the routine rotation of antibiotics in an intensive care unit (ICU) will select against the evolution and spread of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. In contrast, previous theoretical studies addressing this question have(More)
Evolutionary adaptation can be extremely fast, especially in response to high selection intensities. A prime example is the surge of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. The genomic underpinnings of such rapid changes may provide information on the genetic processes that enhance fast responses and the particular trait functions under selection. Here, we use(More)
We ask the question Which antibiotic deployment protocols select best against drug-resistant microbes: mixing or periodic cycling? and demonstrate that the statistical distribution of the performances of both sets of protocols, mixing and periodic cycling, must have overlapping supports. In other words, it is a general, mathematical result that there must(More)
INTRODUCTION Although, on average, cognition declines with age, cognition in older adults is a dynamic process. Hypertension is associated with greater decline in cognition with age, but whether treatment of hypertension affects this is uncertain. Here, we modelled dynamics of cognition in relation to the treatment of hypertension, to see if treatment(More)
BACKGROUND The essential Escherichia coli gene ygjD belongs to a universally conserved group of genes whose function has been the focus of a number of recent studies. Here, we put ygjD under control of an inducible promoter, and used time-lapse microscopy and single cell analysis to investigate the phenotypic consequences of the depletion of YgjD protein(More)
Using optimal control theory as the basic theoretical tool, we investigate the efficacy of different antibiotic treatment protocols in the most exacting of circumstances, described as follows. Viewing a continuous culture device as a proxy for a much more complex host organism, we first inoculate the device with a single bacterial species and deem this the(More)
Medical and pharmacological communities have long searched for antimicrobial drugs that increase their effect when used in combination, an interaction known as synergism. These drug combinations, however, impose selective pressures in favour of multi-drug resistance and as a result, the benefit of synergy may be lost after only a few bacterial generations.(More)