Viewpoint: New antibiotics won’t save us from drug-resistant bacterial infections

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Image: Matt Gibson/Flickr
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Of course, there is an ongoing search for new safe and effective antibiotics, but agents are very difficult to find. Unfortunately, even after the introduction of a new antibiotic, resistance inevitably develops through the evolution of the targeted bacteria in months to years. While we support the ongoing efforts to develop new antibiotics, we thought it would be timely to review other therapeutic approaches beyond antibiotics that are being explored.

More than a century ago, microbiologists discovered viruses, known as bacteriophages, that killed bacteria. Exploitation of these natural parasites of microbes as antibacterial therapy began soon thereafter.

[T]here is now a renewed interest in using bacteriophages to treat bacterial infections. Recently, there have been several cases reported for which phage therapy produced substantial clinical benefit in a variety of severe infections.

Related article:  Immunotherapy more effective in patients with more cancer mutations, study shows

The immune system provides an additional potential source of antimicrobial agents. Antibodies, proteins produced by white blood cells known as B lymphocytes, can be used in their natural form or modified using genetic or chemical methods.

To effectively combat drug resistance we need an eclectic strategy that emphasizes therapeutic approaches deploying both new drugs and other new means to eliminate microbes.

Read full, original post: Opinion: We Need More than New Antibiotics to Fight Resistance

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