Drug resistance speeds up with 'imperfect penetration'

May 19, 2015 2:04 PM

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The issue, called "imperfect penetration," is significant for patients with HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and other diseases which require combinations of multiple drugs in treatment. The combination is meant to overpower the pathogens in a patient's system, but with only one drug present in some parts of the body, pathogens can begin to adapt and survive, eventually rendering the entire drug cocktail moot.

"This requires a new way of thinking about drug combinations that is a bit counterintuitive," said Pleuni Pennings, an assistant professor of biology at San Francisco State University, in a press release. "Suppose that drug A does not reach the brain, but drug B does. You'll see the pathogen evolvin...

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