Friday, 17 July 2015

The hunt for new antibiotics and antimicrobial alternatives

The search for new antibiotics is a matter of global importance. The world is facing a shortfall in antibiotics. This is due to the accelerating rate of antibiotic resistance among certain pathogenic bacteria. Many of these pathogens pose a particular risk to people who have undergone surgery and to those who have a weak or suppressed immune system ('immunocompromised.') Many infections from antibiotic resistant bacteria can emerge in hospital (hence the term 'hospital acquired infection'; although there are also other community-based concerns.)

In this post, I'm taking an overview of some of the recent initiatives in the hunt for new antibiotics and antibiotics alternatives.

There are three areas that I'm focusing on:
  • The use of robots to screen potential antibiotic alternatives;
  • The use of mathematical algorithms to work out which new compounds might make the best drug candidates;
  • The development of so-termed 'resistance breakers' - compounds designed to help existing antibiotics to work better.
To read about these innovations, see my post at the website Disease Biology Info.

Posted by Tim Sandle