Antimicrobial Peptides and Resistance Evolution

4:00pm - 5:00pm / Tuesday 19th March 2019 / Venue: Lecture Theatre 1 Life Sciences Building
Type: Seminar / Category: Research / Series: BEEM Seminar
  • Suitable for: Staff and students with an interest in Behaviour, Evolution, Ecology and Microbiology
  • Admission: Free
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Speaker: Jens Rolff

Antimicrobial peptides are ancient immune effectors of multicellular organisms and are of particular importance in insect immune defenses.

Antimicrobial peptides entered the discussion on antibiotic resistance, as they were considered to be evolution-proof. Studying AMPs in their natural context can inform possible application. Here I will show, using a pharmacodynamic approach, how differences between AMPs and antibiotics can be harnessed to predict the evolution of drug resistance. The theoretical predictions are consistent with empirical data and support the view that bacterial resistance evolution against AMPs happens, but a much lower probability then against antibiotics. The framework can almost certainly be extended to resistance evolution in other contexts. Additionally, using a combined theoretical and empirical perspective, I will also discuss the role of phenotypic resistance in the evolution of genetic resistance towards antimicrobial peptides and antibiotics.