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J Infect Dis. 2017 Feb 15;215(suppl_1):S9-S17. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiw402.

Interplay Between Antibiotic Resistance and Virulence During Disease Promoted by Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and.
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts.


Diseases caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria in hospitals are the outcome of complex relationships between several dynamic factors, including bacterial pathogenicity, the fitness costs of resistance in the human host, and selective forces resulting from interventions such as antibiotic therapy. The emergence and fate of mutations that drive antibiotic resistance are governed by these interactions. In this review, we will examine how different forms of antibiotic resistance modulate bacterial fitness and virulence potential, thus influencing the ability of pathogens to evolve in the context of nosocomial infections. We will focus on 3 important multidrug-resistant pathogens that are notoriously problematic in hospitals: Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii, and Staphylococcus aureus. An understanding of how antibiotic resistance mutations shape the pathobiology of multidrug-resistant infections has the potential to drive novel strategies that can control the development and spread of drug resistance.


Acinetobacter baumannii; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Staphylococcus aureus; antibiotic resistance; fitness; virulence

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