Reduced selection for antibiotic resistance in community context is maintained despite pressure by additional antibiotics

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung



Selection for antibiotic resistance at very low antibiotic concentrations has been demonstrated for individual antibiotics in single species experiments. Furthermore, selection in these focal strains is reduced when taking place in complex microbial community context. However, in the environment, bacteria are rarely exposed to single, but rather complex mixtures of selective agents. Here, we explored how the presence of a second selective agent affects selection dynamics between isogenic pairs of focal E. coli strains, differing exclusively in a single resistance determinant, in the absence and presence of a model wastewater community across a gradient of antibiotics. An additional antibiotic that exclusively affects the model wastewater community, but to which the focal strains are resistant to, was chosen as the second selective agent. This allowed exploring how inhibition alters the community's ability to reduce selection. In the presence of the community, the selection coefficient at specific antibiotic concentrations was consistently decreased compared to the absence of the community. While pressure through the second antibiotic significantly decreased the activity and diversity of the community, its ability to reduce selection was consistently maintained at levels comparable to those recorded in absence of the second antibiotic. This indicates that the observed effects of community context on selection dynamics are rather based on competitive or protective effects between the focal strains and a small proportion of bacteria within the community, than on general competition for nutrients. These findings have implications for our understanding of the evolution and selection for multi-drug resistant strains.


Seiten (von - bis)52
FachzeitschriftISME communications
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 31 Mai 2023

Externe IDs

unpaywall 10.1038/s43705-023-00262-4
WOS 001052638200002
ORCID /0000-0001-5372-0923/work/142242992
ORCID /0000-0003-1851-2066/work/142246638
ORCID /0000-0002-4169-6548/work/142247389



  • Escherichia-coli, Ecosystems, Mechanisms, Tolerance, Emergence, Evolution, Bacteria, Sequence, Release, Primer