Antimicrobial Resistance

Combination therapy to tackle AMR

Another method of dealing with AMR has been outlined as using combination therapy. This is using more than one antibiotic at once to treat a resistant infection, clearing that infection, and reducing the emergence of new resistance phenotypes.It is understood that increasing the number of antibiotics given to a patient can have several benefits:

From the patient’s point of view the chief benefit is that the concentration of each component of the therapy can be reduced significantly. This reduces the chance of a toxic reaction in the patient while still clearing a highly dangerous infection.

From the scientific and clinical point of view it is known that combination therapies are more difficult for bacteria to evolve resistances to as there are more active agents acting upon each bacterium and the population as a whole.

The third valuable aspect is synergy. Combining effective agents can lead to an effect that is greater than the sum of the parts. This is synergistic antimicrobial action and is the current focus of Dr Hammond and colleagues. Dr Hammond’s lab are using a high throughput method to hunt for synergistic combinations of antimicrobials to combat currently relevant resistant pathogens (the ESKAPE group) and benefit patient outcomes.