Abstracts (first author)

Talk 

Modelling antibiotic resistance and plasmids

Author(s): Tazzyman SJ

Summary:

The spread of antibiotic resistance in bacteria is a major public health problem, threatening our ability to treat bacterial infections successfully.

Plasmids, extra-chromosomal pieces of DNA capable of horizontal transfer, are often implicated in the process of resistance acquisition, and potentially allow for the transfer of resistance genes between species and between genera. Some plasmids carry multiple resistance genes, simultaneously counteracting several antibiotics, and in extreme cases acquisition of a plasmid by a pathogen can confer resistance to virtually all antibiotics at a single stroke. The conditions favouring resistance genes to be located on plasmids rather than on chromosomes are therefore potentially of great importance.

Mathematical models are an excellent technique for investigating this topic, because they allow for simultaneous consideration of selection at three levels: genes, plasmids, and bacteria. We use models to consider whether plasmids are a favourable location for antibiotic resistance genes, and how spatially- or temporally-varying selection regimes can affect this. Answers to these questions provide a more complete understanding of the processes underlying the evolution of antibiotic resistance genes on plasmids, and could consequently be of great value in preventing the spread of resistance.


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Contacts

Chairman: Octávio S. Paulo
Tel: 00 351 217500614 direct
Tel: 00 351 217500000 ext22359
Fax: 00 351 217500028
email: mail@eseb2013.com

Address

XIV Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology

Organization Team
Department of Animal Biology (DBA)
Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon
P-1749-016 Lisbon
Portugal

Website

Computational Biology & Population Genomics Group 
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