The relentless increase in antibiotic resistance among all major groups of bacterial pathogens shows no sign of abating. The situation is exacerbated by a marked decline in the number of new antibiotics entering the marketplace. It is essential that new ways to treat severe bacterial infections are investigated before the antibiotic well runs dry. This review covers many promising approaches, some novel and some based on old ideas that were not considered viable when clinicians were able to exploit a wide palette of cheap and effective antibacterial chemotherapeutics. These approaches include the use of photosensitive dyes, bacteriophage and phage-encoded proteins, and agents that compromise virulence and antibiotic-resistance machineries. I also make a case for continuing in some form with tried and trusted platforms for drug discovery that served society well in the past.
- type II fatty acid synthesis;
- methicillin-resistant S. aureus;
- photodynamic therapy;
- quorum sensing
- Received January 13, 2017.
- Revision received February 22, 2017.
- Accepted February 22, 2017.
- © 2017 The Author(s); published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society and the Royal Society of Biology