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Seminar Abstracts

Dr Sara Jabbari, University of Birmingham: Novel strategies to tackle bacterial infections: targeting adhesion and persistence

The ability of bacteria to become resistant to previously successful antibiotic treatments is an urgent and increasing worldwide problem. Solutions can be sought via a number of methods including, for example, identifying novel antibiotics, re-engineering existing antibiotics or developing alternative treatment methods. The nonlinear interactions involved in infection and treatment render it difficult to predict the success of any of these methods without the use of computational tools in addition to more traditional experimental work. We use mathematical modelling to aid in the development of anti-virulence treatments that, unlike conventional antibiotics that directly target a bacterium’s survival, may instead attenuate bacteria and prevent them from being able to cause infection. Many of these approaches, however, are only partially successful when tested in infection models. We present two such potential treatments in relation to the multi-drug resistant bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa: targeting host-cell adhesion and cell-morphology transitions that facilitate persister-like behaviour. Using mathematical modelling we consider ways to optimise the efficacy of such treatments.