Antibiotic resistance happens when germs like bacteria and fungi develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. That means the germs are not killed and continue to grow. Infections caused by antibiotic-resistant germs are difficult and sometimes impossible, to treat. Researchers have found that as some bacteria develop resistance to one antibiotic, they can develop sensitivity to another at the same time.
Researchers have implied that one way to oppose antibiotic resistance is to identify strains of bacteria that become resistant to one antibiotic while becoming vulnerable to another at the same. In this situation shifting between antibiotics might delay or inhibit bacterial resistance to the drugs.
Scientists have emphasized how bacteria react differently to antibiotics depending on the metabolic conditions that they are in, and so bacterial resistance in the lab may differ from that in a human host.
When a pathogen adapts to one drug, it can become more sensitive to other drugs (collateral sensitivity), or it can become more resistant (cross-resistance). This explains why antibiotic resistance happens.
“These switching strategies have failed to curb resistance, but this might be because of the wrong choice of antibiotic pairs. We showed how to find antibiotic pairs that are most likely to be successful at mitigating antibiotic resistance. These are good antibiotic candidates for future clinical trials, but they will also require subspecies-level classification to be correctly applied.”