The emergence of widespread antibiotic resistance as an impediment in the treatment of bacterial diseases is of growing concern. In some instances, clinicians are left with few or no antibiotics for treatment of infections and this problem will more than likely grow in magnitude. One approach to get around the problem of antibiotic resistance is to develop new drugs with novel targets and mechanisms of action. Due to the 'newness' of these novel targets as therapeutic targets, the likelihood that resistance will initially be widespread is low. Three approaches are discussed in this overview: discovery of new essential genes that are expressed exclusively in vivo; development of compounds that act on global bacterial gene regulators; and interference with virulence determinants. By exploiting virulence related attributes or genes expressed exclusively in vivo, the risk of resistance is reduced since inhibiting these products will probably alter the ecology (habitats) of these organisms rather than causing direct cell death. This might also lead to a selective targeting of pathogens with the beneficial consequence of ignoring organisms growing in their normal habitat, such as in the gastrointestinal tract or skin.
Copyright 2007 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Antibiotic resistance
- Gene regulation
- Global regulators
- In vivo gene expression