Model of antibiotic action on bacterial population growth

Condensed Matter lunchtime seminar

Model of antibiotic action on bacterial population growth

Event details

In this talk I will describe a simple model for the growth of a bacterial population under the challenge of ribosome-targetting antibiotics. The model is statistical physics-like in that it makes a coarse-grained description of the growth process, reduced to three variables within the bacterial cell - the antibiotic concentration, the concentration of ribosomes bound to antibiotics and the concentration of unbound ribosomes. Furthermore, there is biological input from empirically established physiological constraints which relate the three variables. Remarkably the model can explain several experimental observations concerning antibiotic action and bacterial growth rate. In particular the growth-dependent bacterial susceptibility is controlled by a single, 'universal' parameter and the extreme behaviours correspond to the phenomenological classification into bactericidal and bacteriostatic antibiotics.


Growth-dependent bacterial susceptibility to ribosome-targeting antibiotics Philip Greulich, Matthew Scott, Martin R. Evans, Rosalind J. Allen Molecular Systems Biology 11:796 (2015)

This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend..

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