Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Aggressive drug therapy aids superbug evolution, research finds

Date:
August 4, 2011
Source:
Queen's University
Summary:
New research raises troubling concerns about the use of aggressive drug therapies to treat a wide range of diseases such as MRSA, C. difficile, malaria and even cancer.

New research raises troubling concerns about the use of aggressive drug therapies to treat a wide range of diseases such as MRSA, C. difficile, malaria, and even cancer.

Related Articles


"The universally accepted strategy of aggressive medication to kill all targeted disease pathogens has the problematic consequence of giving any drug-resistant disease pathogens that are present the greatest possible evolutionary advantage," says Troy Day, one of the paper's co-authors and Canada Research Chair in Mathematical Biology at Queen's.

The researchers note that while the first aim of a drug treatment program should be to make and keep a patient healthy, the patient's immune system also has to be allowed to work.

They suggest several strategies to address the challenge of drug-resistant pathogens including improving the current knowledge base, discovering effective ways for slowing the spread of drug-resistant pathogens from person-to-person, and developing strategies for preventing drug-resistant mutations from occurring in the first place.

Last century's malaria wonder drug, chloroquine, is a perfect example of aggressive medication leading to the growth of drug-resistant pathogens. Since drug-resistant malarial parasites didn't have to compete with parasites that were killed off by an aggressive chloroquine treatment plan, the resistant parasites were given an evolutionary advantage. As a treatment for malaria, chloroquine is now useless across most of Africa.

"As things currently stand, no research exists that can tell us what the optimal drug delivery strategy would be for maintaining treatment effectiveness and mitigating the evolution of resistance," says Dr. Day. "While overwhelming medicinal force may sometimes be required, we need to be clear about when and why this strategy should be chosen since it brings with it some very clear problems with respect to resistance evolution."

This research was conducted in collaboration with Andrew Read and Silvie Huijben at Pennsylvania State University and was published in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen's University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. F. Read, T. Day, S. Huijben. Colloquium Paper: The evolution of drug resistance and the curious orthodoxy of aggressive chemotherapy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011; 108 (Supplement_2): 10871 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1100299108

Cite This Page:

Queen's University. "Aggressive drug therapy aids superbug evolution, research finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110803111332.htm>.
Queen's University. (2011, August 4). Aggressive drug therapy aids superbug evolution, research finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110803111332.htm
Queen's University. "Aggressive drug therapy aids superbug evolution, research finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110803111332.htm (accessed March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) Researchers found adults only get the flu about once every five years. Scientists analyzed how a person&apos;s immunity builds up over time as well. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) With no bathrooms to use, climbers of Mount Everest have been leaving human waste on the mountain for years, and it&apos;s becoming a health issue. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mom Triumphs Over Tragedy, Helps Other Families

Mom Triumphs Over Tragedy, Helps Other Families

AP (Mar. 3, 2015) After her son, Dax, died from a rare form of leukemia, Julie Locke decided to give back to the doctors at St. Jude Children&apos;s Research Hospital who tried to save his life. She raised $1.6M to help other patients and their families. (March 3) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Looted and Leaking, South Sudan's Oil Wells Pose Health Risk

Looted and Leaking, South Sudan's Oil Wells Pose Health Risk

AFP (Mar. 3, 2015) Thick black puddles and a looted, leaking ruin are all that remain of the Thar Jath oil treatment facility, once a crucial part of South Sudan&apos;s mainstay industry. Duration: 01:13 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins