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Open Access Commentary

A mathematical model to guide antibiotic treatment strategies

Albert Sotto12* and Jean-Philippe Lavigne1

Author Affiliations

1 Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, U1047, Université Montpellier 1, UFR de Médecine 30908 Nîmes Cedex 08, France

2 Service des Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales, CHU Caremeau, 30029 Nîmes Cedex 09, France

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BMC Medicine 2012, 10:90  doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-90

Published: 13 August 2012

Abstract

Over the past few decades, the emergence of multidrug resistance (MDR) to antibiotics in bacteria has led to major difficulties in the management of infected patients. At present, there is a serious lack of development of new antibacterial agents. Mathematical models are one approach to understand how antibiotic usage patterns may be optimized. However, the classical approach to modeling the emergence of MDR relies on the simplifying assumption that resistance is acquired at a constant rate. In their model, Obolski and Hadany introduce the notion of horizontal gene transfer and stress-induced mutation, with antibiotics constituting an environmental stressor of particular relevance. Finally, from this complex mathematical model, the authors propose predictions for minimizing MDR in bacteria depending on strategies of antibiotic treatment.

Please see related article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/10/89 webcite

Keywords:
antibiotic resistance; mathematical models; multidrug resistance