PAR – Predicting antibiotic resistance

In my previous post I referred readers to Jim Caryl’s The Gene Gym blog at Nature.com. Jim’s current research is funded by the European Commission project PAR – Predicting antibiotic resistance. Summary:

Antibiotic resistance represents a rapidly growing global health problem caused by the use and misuse of antibiotics and spread of resistant bacteria as well as the lack of industrial development of new antibiotics. The urgency of the resistance problem makes the development of experimental and theoretical tools and methods to understand and predict (and by inference prevent) the development of antibiotic resistance a high priority. This project aims to describe and predict the dynamics of antibiotic resistance development at the level of the drug target, the microbe and the host.. The obtained results will have general biological implications with regard to molecular evolution and bacterial adaptation, virulence and transmission. Most importantly, our results will generate strategies to reduce the rate of resistance of development.

A good place to begin your Gene Gym reading is this article on Bacterial Fitness. Jim’s earlier blog is also a good source of science on antibiotic resistance.