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Antimicrobial resistance: biofilms and antimicrobial peptides

This Club EvMed event occurred on March 20, 2024. Learn more about Club EvMed at

This conversation was led by Dr. Barbora Trubenova & Jens Rolff.

The evolution of antimicrobial resistance is a major challenge for health care worldwide. The most commonly discussed attempts to tackle this issue are new drugs, rapid diagnostics and prudent use of antimicrobials. Understanding the evolutionary dynamics of resistance evolution and the consideration of prevention are rarely considered.

Here, we combine the study of a new group of drugs, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) that are also important immune effectors in multicellular life, with pharmacodynamic and population genetic approaches. We will discuss properties of AMPs that lower the risk of resistance evolution compared to conventional antibiotics (1). Most studies in the field use planktonic cultures for ease of experimentation and because of internationally standardized protocols. Here, we expand on the evolutionary demographic approach to bacterial biofilms, as this is the most common bacterial lifestyle including infections (2).

Suggested readings: 1. B. P. Lazzaro, M. Zasloff, J. Rolff, Antimicrobial peptides: Application informed by evolution. Science 368, eaau5480 (2020). 2. B. Trubenová, D. Roizman, A. Moter, J. Rolff, R. R. Regoes, Population genetics, biofilm recalcitrance, and antibiotic resistance evolution. Trends in Microbiology 30, 841–852 (2022).

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