Harnessing intra-host strain competition to limit antibiotic resistance: mathematical model results.

*(English)*Zbl 1352.92116Summary: Antibiotic overuse has promoted the spread of antibiotic resistance. To compound the issue, treating individuals dually infected with antibiotic-resistant and antibiotic-vulnerable strains can make their infections completely resistant through competitive release. We formulate mathematical models of transmission dynamics accounting for dual infections and extensions accounting for lag times between infection and treatment or between cure and ending treatment. Analysis using the Next-Generation Matrix reveals how competition within hosts and the costs of resistance determine whether vulnerable and resistant strains persist, coexist, or drive each other to extinction. Invasion analysis predicts that treatment of dually infected cases will promote resistance. By varying antibiotic strength, the models suggest that physicians have two ways to achieve a particular resistance target: prescribe relatively weak antibiotics to everyone infected with an antibiotic-vulnerable strain or give more potent
prescriptions to only those patients singly infected with the vulnerable strain after ruling out the possibility of them being dually infected with resistance. Through selectivity and moderation in antibiotic prescription, resistance might be limited.

##### Keywords:

antibiotic resistance; competitive release; mathematical modeling; coinfections; ordinary differential equations
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\textit{A. B. Beams} et al., Bull. Math. Biol. 78, No. 9, 1828--1846 (2016; Zbl 1352.92116)

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