Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 7 (2006), Issue 4, Pages 229-263

The Pharmacodynamics of Antibiotic Treatment

Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA

Received 22 June 2006; Accepted 31 October 2006

Copyright © 2006 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We derive models of the effects of periodic, discrete dosing or constant dosing of antibiotics on a bacterial population whose growth is checked by nutrient-limitation and possibly by host defenses. Mathematically rigorous results providing sufficient conditions for treatment success, i.e. the elimination of the bacteria, as well as for treatment failure, are obtained. Our models can exhibit bi-stability where the infection-free state and an infection-state are locally stable when antibiotic dosing is marginal. In this case, treatment success may occur only for sub-threshold level infections.