Review

Antibiotics for Emerging Pathogens

Science  28 Aug 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5944, pp. 1089-1093
DOI: 10.1126/science.1176667

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Abstract

Antibiotic-resistant strains of pathogenic bacteria are increasingly prevalent in hospitals and the community. New antibiotics are needed to combat these bacterial pathogens, but progress in developing them has been slow. Historically, most antibiotics have come from a small set of molecular scaffolds whose functional lifetimes have been extended by generations of synthetic tailoring. The emergence of multidrug resistance among the latest generation of pathogens suggests that the discovery of new scaffolds should be a priority. Promising approaches to scaffold discovery are emerging; they include mining underexplored microbial niches for natural products, designing screens that avoid rediscovering old scaffolds, and repurposing libraries of synthetic molecules for use as antibiotics.

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