Send to

Choose Destination
Res Microbiol. 2004 Jun;155(5):360-9.

Adaptation to the deleterious effects of antimicrobial drug resistance mutations by compensatory evolution.

Author information

Department of Bacteriology, Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, 171 82 Solna, Sweden.


Compensatory mutations, due to their ability to mask the deleterious effects of another mutation, are important for the adaptation and evolution of most organisms. Resistance to antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, herbicides and insecticides is usually associated with a fitness cost. As a result of compensatory evolution, the initial fitness costs conferred by resistance mutations (or other deleterious mutations) can often be rapidly and efficiently reduced. Such compensatory evolution is potentially of importance for (i) the long-term persistence of drug resistance, (ii) reducing the rate of fitness loss associated with the accumulation of deleterious mutations in small asexual populations, and (iii) the evolution of complexity of cellular processes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center