Selection versus Transmission: Quantitative and Organismic Biology in Antibiotic Resistance

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2024.105606. This is version 1 of this Preprint.

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Authors

Fernando Baquero, Ana Elena Pérez-Cobas, Sonia Aracil-Gisbert, Teresa M Coque, Javier Zamora

Abstract

We aimed to determine the importance of selection (mostly dependent on the anthropogenic use of antimicrobials) and transmission (mostly dependent on hygiene and sanitation) as drivers of the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacterial populations. The first obstacle to estimating the relative weight of both independent variables is the lack of detailed quantitative data concerning the number of bacterial cells, potentially either pathogenic or harmless, and bacterial species exposed to antimicrobial action in the microbiotas of specific environments. The second obstacle is the difficulty of considering the importance of the various parameters influencing antibiotic resistance across eco-biological levels that constitute an “organism-like” entity. As a consequence, advances are urgently required in quantitative biology and organismic biology of antimicrobial resistance. The absolute number of humans exposed to antibiotics and the absolute number of potentially pathogenic and commensal bacteria in their microbiomes should influence both the selection and transmission of resistant bacterial populations. The “whole Earth” microbiome, with astonishingly high numbers of bacterial cells and species, which are also exposed to anthropogenic antimicrobials in various biogeographical spaces, shape the antibiotic resistance landscape. These biogeographical spaces influence various intensities of selection and transmission of potentially pathogenic bacteria. While waiting for more precise data, biostatistics analysis and mathematical or computational modeling can provide proxies to compare the influence of selection and transmission in resistant bacteria. In European countries with lower sanitation levels, antibiotic consumption plays a major role in increasing antibiotic resistance; however this is not the case in countries with high sanitation levels. Although both independent variables are linked, their relative influence on the level of antibiotic resistance varies according to the particular location. Therefore, although interventions directed to decrease antibiotic resistance should be designed “à la carte,” the global effects of antibiotic exposure and resistance on local sites cannot be underestimated.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.32942/X2BP5H

Subjects

Life Sciences, Medicine and Health Sciences

Keywords

selection, Transmission, Quantitative Biology, Organismic Biology, biogeography, Antibiotic Resistance, Transmission, Quantitative Biology, Organismic Biology, biogeography

Dates

Published: 2024-02-02 02:20

Last Updated: 2024-02-02 07:20

License

CC-By Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Additional Metadata

Language:
English

Conflict of interest statement:
None

Data and Code Availability Statement:
Not applicable