Bacteria have the potential to translocate between sites in the human body, but the dynamics and consequences of within-host bacterial migration remain poorly understood. Here we investigate the link between gut and lung Pseudomonas aeruginosa populations in an intensively sampled ICU patient using a combination of genomics, isolate phenotyping, host immunity profiling, and clinical data. Crucially, we show that lung colonization in the ICU was driven by the translocation of P. aeruginosa from the gut. Meropenem treatment for a suspected urinary tract infection selected for elevated resistance in both the gut and lung. However, resistance was driven by parallel evolution in the gut and lung coupled with organ specific selective pressures, and translocation had only a minor impact on AMR. These findings suggest that reducing intestinal colonization of Pseudomonas may be an effective way to prevent lung infections in critically ill patients.
Mixed strain pathogen populations accelerate the evolution of antibiotic resistance in patients
Abstract Antibiotic resistance poses a global health threat, but the within-host drivers of resistance remain poorly understood. Pathogen populations ...