Evolutionary Drivers of Antibiotic Resistance in Pseudomonas Aeruginosa

4:00pm - 5:00pm / Tuesday 4th February 2020 / Venue: LT1, Life Sciences Building Life Sciences Building
Type: Seminar / Category: Research / Series: BEEM Seminar
  • Suitable for: Those with an interest in Behaviour, Evolution, Ecology and Microbiology
  • Admission: Free
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Speaker: Craig MacLean (University of Oxford)

Antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria poses a fundamental threat to human health, and the goal of my research group is to understand the evolutionary processes that drive the rise and fall of resistance. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an important opportunistic pathogen of humans that evolves resistance to antibiotics at an alarmingly high rate. In his talk, Craig will present results from lab studies and clinical trials where he has tried to understand how selection and antibiotic use impact resistance. The first half of the talk will focus on showing how in vitro experiments and mathematical models suggest that fitness costs of resistance and compensatory evolution interact with antibiotic consumption to maintain resistance. In the second half of his talk, Craig will show how we are testing these insights by doing in-depth phenotypic profiling and genome sequencing on close to 1,000 isolates from a Europe-wide clinical study of Pseudomonas infections in hospitalized patients. The analysis of this data set is ongoing, but Craig will present detailed evolutionary dynamics of resistance during individual infection and broad-scale tests that come from comparing isolates from different hospitals and patients.