Resistance is futile: the bacteriocin model for addressing the antibiotic resistance challenge



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Medical Subject Headings

Animals; Anti-Bacterial Agents; Bacteriuria; Colicins; Drug Resistance, Bacterial; Escherichia coli; Escherichia coli Infections; Humans; Microbial Sensitivity Tests


Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins | Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology | Microbiology | Therapeutics


Pathogenic bacteria resistant to many or all antibiotics already exist. With the decline in microbiological research at pharmaceutical companies, the high rate at which resistance has evolved and spread has demanded a novel approach to addressing this critical human health issue. In the present paper, we propose a new paradigm in antibiotic discovery and development, one that applies ecological and evolutionary theory to design antimicrobial drugs that are more difficult and/or more costly to resist. In essence, we propose to simply adopt the strategies invented and applied by bacteria for hundreds of millions of years. Our research focuses on bacteriocins, powerful biological weapons, and their use as alternative therapeutics in human health.

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Citation: Biochem Soc Trans. 2012 Dec 1;40(6):1438-42. doi: 10.1042/BST20120179.

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