Authors: Julie Kaiser (University of Western Ontario, Canada)
In a recent study published in Nature Communications, researchers demonstrated that acquired resistance to the polymyxin antibiotic, colistin, can be detrimental to bacterial survival, revealing unique evolutionary trade-offs of this new form of resistance.
Colistin is a last-resort antibiotic used to treat multidrug-resistant Gram-negative infections. Recently, a new form of acquired colistin resistance has emerged in Gram-negative pathogens, jeopardizing the use of colistin in the clinic. The ‘mobilized colistin resistance’ (mcr–1) gene is the first described mechanism of acquired colistin resistance, with little known about its origin and transfer between Gram-negative pathogens.