Evolving antibiotics against resistance : a potential platform for natural product development?

Waldetoft, Kristofer Wollein and Gurney, James and Lachance, Joseph and Hoskisson, Paul A. and Brown, Sam P. (2019) Evolving antibiotics against resistance : a potential platform for natural product development? mBio, 10 (6). e02946-19. ISSN 2161-2129

[img]
Preview
Text (Wollein-Waldetoft-etal-mBio-2019-Evolving-antibiotics-against-resistance-a-potential-platform)
Wollein_Waldetoft_etal_mBio_2019_Evolving_antibiotics_against_resistance_a_potential_platform.pdf
Final Published Version
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 logo

Download (394kB)| Preview

    Abstract

    To avoid an antibiotic resistance crisis, we need to develop antibiotics at a pace that matches the rate of evolution of resistance. However, the complex functions performed by antibiotics—combining, e.g., penetration of membranes, counteraction of resistance mechanisms, and interaction with molecular targets— have proven hard to achieve with current methods for drug development, including target-based screening and rational design. Here, we argue that we can meet the evolution of resistance in the clinic with evolution of antibiotics in the laboratory. On the basis of the results of experimental evolution studies of microbes in general and antibiotic production in Actinobacteria in particular, we propose methodology for evolving antibiotics to circumvent mechanisms of resistance. This exploits the ability of evolution to find solutions to complex problems without a need for design. We review evolutionary theory critical to this approach and argue that it is feasible and has important advantages over current methods for antibiotic discovery.