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Evolution of Within-Host Antibiotic Resistance in Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae that has become resistant to a wider range of antibiotics in recent decades. We study the competition dynamics of multiple N. gonorrhoeae bacterial strains within a host in an effort to better understand the development of antibiotic resistance and examine individual-patient treatment regimes to determine conditions for within-host antibioticresistance emergence. To that aim, we propose a phenomenological model that takes into account essential ideas such as the effects of different treatment levels, the mutation rates of bacteria, and the response of the immune system. We find steady state solutions and use analytical and numerical techniques to analyze their biological significance and stability behavior. Numerical simulations also provide a more integral view of how model parameters affect the emergence of within-host resistance.

  • Poster session award recipient at the 2012 National SACNAS Convention in Seattle, WA

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Beverly Burgett- Simpson College
Marisabel Rodriguez - University of Texas- Pan American
Samantha Ryan - Arizona State University
William Tressel - University of San Diego
Stephen Wirkus – Arizona State University