Data from: Targeting antibiotic resistant bacteria with phages reduces bacterial density in an insect host
Mikonranta, Lauri; Buckling, Angus; Jalasvuori, Matti; Raymond, Ben (2019), Data from: Targeting antibiotic resistant bacteria with phages reduces bacterial density in an insect host, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.sc54383
Phage therapy is attracting growing interest among clinicians as antibiotic resistance continues becoming harder to control. However, clinical trials and animal model studies on bacteriophage treatment are still scarce and results on the efficacy vary. Recent research suggests that using traditional antimicrobials in concert with phage could have desirable synergistic effects that hinder the evolution of resistance. Here, we present a novel insect gut model to study phage-antibiotic interaction in a system where antibiotic resistance initially exists in very low frequency and phage specifically targets the resistance bearing cells. We demonstrate that while phage therapy could not reduce the frequency of target bacteria in the population during positive selection by antibiotics, it alleviated the antibiotic induced blooming by lowering the overall load of resistant cells. The highly structured gut environment had pharmacokinetic effects on both phage and antibiotic dynamics compared to in vitro: antibiotics did not reduce the overall amount of bacteria, demonstrating a simple turnover of gut flora from non-resistant to resistant population with little cost. The results imply moderate potential for using phage as an aid to target antibiotic resistant gut infections, and question the usefulness of in vitro inferences.