Additional Simulation Results and Pharamacodynamic Concepts from Predicting drug resistance evolution: insights from antimicrobial peptides and antibiotics

Antibiotic resistance constitutes one of the most pressing public health concerns. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) of multicellular organisms are considered part of a solution to this problem, and AMPs produced by bacteria such as colistin are last-resort drugs. Importantly, AMPs differ from many antibiotics in their pharmacodynamic characteristics. Here we implement these differences within a theoretical framework to predict the evolution of resistance against AMPs and compare it to antibiotic resistance. Our analysis of resistance evolution finds that pharmacodynamic differences all combine to produce a much lower probability that resistance will evolve against AMPs. The finding can be generalized to all drugs with pharmacodynamics similar to AMPs. Pharmacodynamic concepts are familiar to most practitioners of medical microbiology, and data can be easily obtained for any drug or drug combination. Our theoretical and conceptual framework is, therefore, widely applicable and can help avoid resistance evolution if implemented in antibiotic stewardship schemes or the rational choice of new drug candidates.