In a new study, researchers have found that using combinations of antibiotics in patients with bacterial infections might increase resistance transmission.
The research was done by a team from the Hebrew University and Shaare Zedek Medical Center
Over the past several years, researchers have found that disease-promoting bacteria have evolved resistance to many antibiotic agents.
Because of that, doctors have been giving patients multiple kinds of antibiotics with the hope that at least one of them will kill the bacteria.
But now, it seems that this practice might be making things worse in the long run.
The team found that it can lead to an increase in resistance to the drugs in combination therapies.
In the study, the researchers studied a patient with a blood infection of the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.
The patient was given vancomycin, and when that did not quash it, the doctors added rifampicin.
After eight days, the doctors replaced vancomycin with daptomycin.
As the patient was being treated, the researchers took blood samples to determine how well the treatment was working, but it also allowed the researchers to test the tolerance level of the microbes individually and directly against all of the drugs that were used to treat the patient.
The team found that after giving the patient the combination of drugs, the bacteria were killed more slowly by daptomycin.
They note that a reduction in killing speed indicates an evolutionary step toward resistance. The researchers also carried out additional tests with other kinds of infections, and report finding the same results.
They suggest that giving patients combinations of antibiotics is making bacteria develop resistance to the drugs that still work.
The researchers’ next plan to study the effect in patients infected with different types of bacteria.
The study is published in Science.
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