Prévoir l'évolution de la résistance aux antibiotiques par évolution dirigée

 

Brandon Findlay

Université Concordia

 

Domaine : maladies infectieuses et immunitaires

Programme Chercheurs-boursiers - Junior 1

Concours 2019-2020

Antibiotics have transformed medicine, combating deaths from infectious disease and allowing organ transplant and immunosuppressive therapy. Unfortunately, their use has been haunted by the steady rise of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria cause difficult-to-treat infections, worsening outcomes. At the current rate of antibiotic resistance development, by 2050, experts estimate that these infections will cause 10,000,000 preventable deaths each year.

Bacteria develop antibiotic resistance through either mutations in their current genes or through the acquisition of resistance elements from environmental DNA. Through funding from FRQS we will use an inexpensive evolution chamber to rapidly develop antibiotic resistance in naïve bacteria, including those with resistance plasmids. These bacteria will then have their genome sequenced, and we will map the mutational pathways that lead to antibiotic resistance. These mutations are expected to alter the drug's target, known resistance factors, and off-site proto-resistance genes.

Ultimately, this work will allow us to better understand how antibiotic resistance emerges. This will give us the tools necessary to keep our current antibiotic toolkit effective for longer, and allow us to ensure that the next generation of antibiotics remains effective far into the future.