Novel strategy from the Read group: Use an IV antibiotic but give an agent that binds it in the gut.

Morley, V. J., Kinnear, C. L., Sim, D. G., Olson, S. N., Jackson, L. M., Hansen, E., Usher, G. A., Showalter, S. A., Pai, M. P., Woods, R. J., & Read, A. F. (2020). An adjunctive therapy administered with an antibiotic prevents enrichment of antibiotic-resistant clones of a colonizing opportunistic pathogen [Preprint]. Evolutionary Biology.

Abstract: A key challenge in antibiotic stewardship is figuring out how to use antibiotics therapeutically without promoting the evolution of antibiotic resistance. Here, we demonstrate proof of concept for an adjunctive therapy that allows intravenous antibiotic treatment without driving the evolution and onward transmission of resistance. We repurposed the FDA-approved bile acid sequestrant cholestyramine, which we show binds the antibiotic daptomycin, as an ‘anti-antibiotic’ to disable systemically-administered daptomycin reaching the gut. We hypothesized that adjunctive cholestyramine could enable therapeutic daptomycin treatment in the bloodstream, while preventing transmissible resistance emergence in opportunistic pathogens colonizing the gastrointestinal tract. We tested this idea in a mouse model of Enterococcus faecium gastrointestinal tract colonization. In mice treated with daptomycin, adjunctive cholestyramine therapy reduced the fecal shedding of daptomycin-resistant E. faecium by up to 80-fold. These results provide proof of concept for an approach that could reduce the spread of antibiotic resistance for important hospital pathogens.