- Antibiotic resistant bacteria are a constant threat in the battle against infectious diseases. One strategy for reducing their effect is to temporarily discontinue the use of certain antibiotics in the hope that in the absence of the antibiotic the resistant strains will be replaced by the sensitive strains. An experiment where this strategy is employed in vitro produces data which showed a slow accumulation of sensitive mutants. Here we propose a mathematical model and statistical analysis to explain this data. The stochastic model elucidates the trend and error structure of the data. It provides a guide for developing future sampling strategies, and provides a framework for long term predictions of the effects of discontinuing specific antibiotics on the dynamics of resistant bacterial populations.