- SHared Antibiotic REsistance: compounding immedicable infections.

This research project aims at elucidating the underlying mechanisms and impact of SHared Antibiotic REsistance (SHARE), which will lead to more efficient and targeted treatment strategies for bacterial infections.

Background and aim
The World Health Organization concludes that the increasing emergence of antibiotic resistance among infectious bacteria is causing a global health crisis. SHARE occurs when antibiotic resistant bacteria remove antibiotic compounds from their local environment, and thus prevent the killing of antibiotic-susceptible bacteria. An overarching mechanism facilitating antibiotic resistance of pathogens that has been critically overlooked. SHARE has so far attained very little attention, even though it holds the potential for better utilization of some of the most important antibiotics used in clinics on a daily basis, such as penicillin and cephalosporin.

This project will investigate a novel area to combat antimicrobial resistance. It will pinpoint the mechanisms that either disrupt or stabilize the altruistic sharing of antibiotic resistance, and discover whether horizontal gene transfer and biofilm formation can make production of SHARE, such as penicillin resistance, an evolutionary strategy.

Studying SHARE is a case of high relevance for human health as antibiotic resistance among bacteria is critically high and still rising. This project will reveal the evolutionary mechanisms and stability of SHARE, provide an estimate of SHARE's clinical significance, and indicate novel clinical treatment or hospital practices that can reduce the impact of shared antibacterial resistance.