Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Transient antibiotic resistance calls for attention

Clinicians have long observed that infections diagnosed as susceptible to antibiotics can sometimes resist treatment. New studies show that such treatment failures can be explained by subpopulations of transiently resistant cells that are often missed by standard clinical diagnostics, offering new therapeutic avenues.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Heteroresistance emerges from gene amplifications, calling for combined antimicrobial therapy.


  1. 1.

    Yelin, I. & Kishony, R. Cell 172, 1136–1136 (2018).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Balaban, N. Q. et al. Nat. Rev. Microbiol. 17, 441–448 (2019).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Band, V. I. & Weiss, D. S. PLoS Pathog. 15, e1007726 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Andersson, D. I., Nicoloff, H. & Hjort, K. M. Nat. Rev. Microbiol. 17, 479–496 (2019).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Alexander, H. E. & Leidy, G. J. Exp. Med. 85, 329–338 (1947).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Bigger, J. Lancet 244, 497–500 (1944).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Nicoloff, H., Hjort, K., Levin, B. R. & Andersson, D. I. Nat. Microbiol. 4, 504–514 (2019).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Band, V. I. et al. Nat. Microbiol. (2019).

  9. 9.

    Stone, L. K. et al. Nat. Chem. Biol. 12, 902–904 (2016).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Viktória Lázár or Roy Kishony.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Lázár, V., Kishony, R. Transient antibiotic resistance calls for attention. Nat Microbiol 4, 1606–1607 (2019).

Download citation

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing