Abstract Plasmid persistence in bacterial populations is strongly influenced by the fitness effects associated with plasmid carriage. However, plasmid fitness effects in wild-type bacterial hosts remain largely unexplored. In this study, we determined the fitness effects of the major antibiotic resistance plasmid pOXA-48_K8 in wild-type, ecologically compatible enterobacterial isolates from the human gut microbiota. Our results show that although pOXA-48_K8 produced an overall reduction in bacterial fitness, it produced small effects in most bacterial hosts, and even beneficial effects in several isolates. Moreover, genomic results showed a link between pOXA-48_K8 fitness effects and bacterial phylogeny, helping to explain plasmid epidemiology. Incorporating our fitness results into a simple population dynamics model revealed a new set of conditions for plasmid stability in bacterial communities, with plasmid persistence increasing with bacterial diversity and becoming less dependent on conjugation. These results help to explain the high prevalence of plasmids in the greatly diverse natural microbial communities.
Extended phase-space isokinetic methods in their deterministic [Minary et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 93, 150201 (2004)] and stochastic forms [Leimkuhler et al., Mol. Phys. 111, 3579 (2013)] have proved tremendously successful in allowing multiple time-scale molecular dynamics simulations to be performed with very large time steps. These methods work by coupling the physical degrees of freedom to a set of Nosé-Hoover chain or Nosé-Hoover Langevin thermostats via an isokinetic constraint, which has the effect of avoiding resonance artifacts that plague multiple time-step algorithms. In this paper, we introduce a new resonance-free approach that achieves the same gains in time step but without the imposition of isokinetic constraints or the introduction of extended phase-space variables. Rather, we modify the physical Hamiltonian that effects the same regulation of resonances achieved by the isokinetic constraints. In so doing, we show that sampling errors can be controlled and performance improvements are possible within a simpler Hamiltonian framework. The method is demonstrated in simulations of the structure of liquid water and, in conjunction with enhanced sampling, in generation of the Ramachandran free-energy surface of the solvated alanine dipeptide.