Table 1. Overview of phenomena with previous explanations and explanations suggested here.
PhenomenonCurrent explanationsAlternative explanation
Post-antibiotic effectBacterial stressExtended target occupancy due to transmembrane diffusion
and unspecifically bound reservoir
Inoculum effectDensity-dependent growth stages, quorum-sensingReduced ratio of antibiotics/target at higher bacterial densities
Concentration-
dependent
persistence
Exposure to antibiotics at sub-MIC concentrations
stimulates generation of persisters
Small variance in drug-target binding
Concentration-
independent
persistence
Phenotypic switch between persistent and
“normal” populations
Small variance in processes up- or downstream of drug-target
binding