Antibiotic resistance trajectories with different final resistance may critically depend on the first mutation, due to epistatic interactions. Here, we study the effect of mutation bias and the concentration-dependent effects on fitness of two clinically important mutations in TEM-1 b-lactamase in initiating alternative trajectories to cefotaxime resistance. We show that at low cefotaxime concentrations, the R164S mutation (a mutation of arginine to serine at position 164), which confers relatively low resistance, is competitively superior to the G238S mutation, conferring higher resistance, thus highlighting a critical influence of antibiotic concentration on long-term resistance evolution.
- Antibiotic resistance
- Protein evolution