An orally administered drug prevents selection for antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the gut during daptomycin therapy

Valerie J. Morley, Derek G. Sim, Aline Penkevich, Robert J. Woods, Andrew F. Read

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and objectives: Previously, we showed proof-of-concept in a mouse model that oral administration of cholestyramine prevented enrichment of daptomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract during daptomycin therapy. Cholestyramine binds daptomycin in the gut, which removes daptomycin selection pressure and so prevents the enrichment of resistant clones. Here, we investigated two open questions related to this approach: (i) can cholestyramine prevent the enrichment of diverse daptomycin mutations emerging de novo in the gut? and (ii) how does the timing of cholestyramine administration impact its ability to suppress resistance? Methodology: Mice with GI E. faecium were treated with daptomycin with or without cholestyramine, and E. faecium was cultured from feces to measure changes in daptomycin susceptibility. A subset of clones was sequenced to investigate the genomic basis of daptomycin resistance. Results: Cholestyramine prevented the enrichment of diverse resistance mutations that emerged de novo in daptomycin-Treated mice. Whole-genome sequencing revealed that resistance emerged through multiple genetic pathways, with most candidate resistance mutations observed in the clsA gene. In addition, we observed that cholestyramine was most effective when administration started prior to the first dose of daptomycin. However, beginning cholestyramine after the first daptomycin dose reduced the frequency of resistant E. faecium compared to not using cholestyramine at all. Conclusions and implications: Cholestyramine prevented the enrichment of diverse daptomycin-resistance mutations in intestinal E. faecium populations during daptomycin treatment, and it is a promising tool for managing the transmission of daptomycin-resistant E. faecium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-446
Number of pages8
JournalEvolution, Medicine and Public Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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