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Data from: Effects of prior exposure to antibiotics on bacterial adaptation to phages

Cite this dataset

Arias-Sánchez, Flor Inés; Allen, Richard C.; Hall, Alex R. (2017). Data from: Effects of prior exposure to antibiotics on bacterial adaptation to phages [Dataset]. Dryad.


Understanding adaptation to complex environments requires information about how exposure to one selection pressure affects adaptation to others. For bacteria, antibiotics and viral parasites (phages) are two of the most common selection pressures and are both relevant for treatment of bacterial infections: increasing antibiotic resistance is generating significant interest in using phages in addition or as an alternative to antibiotics. However, we lack knowledge of how exposure to antibiotics affects bacterial responses to phages. Specifically, it is unclear how the negative effects of antibiotics on bacterial population growth combine with any possible mutagenic effects or physiological responses to influence adaptation to other stressors such as phages, and how this net effect varies with antibiotic concentration. Here, we experimentally addressed the effect of pre-exposure to a wide range of antibiotic concentrations on bacterial responses to phages. Across 10 antibiotics, we found a strong association between their effects on bacterial population size and subsequent population growth in the presence of phages (which in these conditions indicates phage-resistance evolution). We detected some evidence of mutagenesis among populations treated with fluoroquinolones, quinolones and β-lactams at sub-lethal doses, but these effects were small and not consistent across phage treatments. These results show that, although stressors such as antibiotics can boost adaptation to other stressors at low concentrations, these effects are weak compared to the effect of reduced population growth at inhibitory concentrations, which in our experiments strongly reduced the likelihood of subsequent phage-resistance evolution.

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National Science Foundation, Award: PZ00P3_148255