Ecology and evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens

Antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria poses a fundamental threat to human health. It is estimated that antibiotic resistant infections are already directly responsible for at least one million deaths per annum and this number is predicted to rise dramatically by 2050. Our understanding of how antibiotics work is based on experiments where bacterial pathogens are exposed to antibiotics in isolation. This research has allowed us to build a fundamental understanding of the mechanisms by which resistance to antibiotics can evolve, but has important deviations from the more complex biological environment of infection. In this talk I will provide two examples from my research where we try and bridge this gap: (1) through studying resistance evolution within patients, and (2) by setting up experiments in the lab taking the microbiome into account. I will start this talk by providing an introduction to antibiotic resistance, and finish by providing some perspective across the field.