A1 Journal article (refereed)
Fight evolution with evolution: plasmid-dependent phages with a wide host range prevent the spread of antibiotic resistances (2013)

Ojala, V., Laitalainen, J., & Jalasvuori, M. (2013). Fight evolution with evolution: plasmid-dependent phages with a wide host range prevent the spread of antibiotic resistances. Evolutionary Applications, 6(6), 925-932. https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.12076

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsOjala, Ville; Laitalainen, Jarkko; Jalasvuori, Matti

Journal or seriesEvolutionary Applications



Publication year2013


Issue number6

Pages range925–932


Publication countryUnited States

Publication languageEnglish


Persistent website addresshttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/eva.12076/full

Research data linkhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.4194c

Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/42307


The emergence of pathogenic bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics is a serious worldwide public health concern. Whenever antibiotics are applied, the genes encoding for antibiotic resistance are selected for within bacterial populations. This has led to the prevalence of conjugative plasmids that carry resistance genes and can transfer themselves between diverse bacterial groups. In this study, we investigated whether it is feasible to attempt to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistances with a lytic bacteriophage, which can replicate in a wide range of gram‐negative bacteria harbouring conjugative drug resistance–conferring plasmids. The counter‐selection against the plasmid was shown to be effective, reducing the frequency of multidrug‐resistant bacteria that formed via horizontal transfer by several orders of magnitude. This was true also in the presence of an antibiotic against which the plasmid provided resistance. Majority of the multiresistant bacteria subjected to phage selection also lost their conjugation capability. Overall this study suggests that, while we are obligated to maintain the selection for the spread of the drug resistances, the ‘fight evolution with evolution’ approach could help us even out the outcome to our favour.

Keywordsantibiotic resistancephage therapy

Free keywordshospital bacteria

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2013

JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-08-05 at 18:46