Alternative evolutionary paths to bacterial antibiotic resistance cause distinct collateral effects.
Molecular Biology and Evolution
Oxford University Press
© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact email@example.com
When bacteria evolve resistance against a particular antibiotic, they may simultaneously gain increased sensitivity against a second one. Such collateral sensitivity may be exploited to develop novel, sustainable antibiotic treatment strategies aimed at containing the current, dramatic spread of drug resistance. To date, the presence and molecular basis of collateral sensitivity has only been studied in few bacterial species and is unknown for opportunistic human pathogens such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In the present study, we assessed patterns of collateral effects by experimentally evolving 160 independent populations of P. aeruginosa to high levels of resistance against eight commonly used antibiotics. The bacteria evolved resistance rapidly and expressed both collateral sensitivity and cross-resistance. The pattern of such collateral effects differed to those previously reported for other bacterial species, suggesting inter-specific differences in the underlying evolutionary trade-offs. Intriguingly, we also identified contrasting patterns of collateral sensitivity and cross-resistance among the replicate populations adapted to the same drug. Whole-genome sequencing of 81 independently evolved populations revealed distinct evolutionary paths of resistance to the selective drug, which determined whether bacteria became cross-resistant or collaterally sensitive towards others. Based on genomic and functional genetic analysis, we demonstrate that collateral sensitivity can result from resistance mutations in regulatory genes such as nalC or mexZ, which mediate aminoglycoside sensitivity in β-lactam-adapted populations, or the two-component regulatory system gene pmrB, which enhances penicillin sensitivity in gentamicin-resistant populations. Our findings highlight substantial variation in the evolved collateral effects among replicates, which in turn determine their potential in antibiotic therapy.
We thank Anette Friedrichs, Lutz Becks, and the Schulenburg group for valuable advice and Melanie Vollstedt for technical support during genome sequencing. We are grateful for financial support from the German Science Foundation (DFG grant SCHU 1415/12-1) and the International Max-Planck Research School for Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kiel. We acknowledge infrastructural support by the DFG excellence cluster Inflammation at Interfaces.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Oxford University Press via the DOI in this record.
Published: 23 May 2017
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