Leveraging Marine Natural Products as a Platform to Tackle Bacterial Resistance and Persistence

  19 March 2021

Antimicrobial resistance to existing antibiotics represents one of the greatest threats to human health and is growing at an alarming rate. To further complicate treatment of bacterial infections, many chronic infections are the result of bacterial biofilms that are tolerant to treatment with antibiotics because of the presence of metabolically dormant persister cell populations. Together these threats are creating an increasing burden on the healthcare system, and a “preantibiotic” age is on the horizon if significant action is not taken by the scientific and medical communities. While the golden era of antibiotic discovery (1940s–1960s) produced most of the antibiotic classes in clinical use today, followed by several decades of limited development, there has been a resurgence in antibiotic drug discovery in recent years fueled by the academic and biotech sectors. Historically, great success has been achieved by developing next-generation variants of existing classes of antibiotics, but there remains a dire need for the identification of novel scaffolds and/or antimicrobial targets to drive future efforts to overcome resistance and tolerance. In this regard, there has been no more valuable source for the identification of antibiotics than natural products, with 69–77% of approved antibiotics either being such compounds or being derived from them.

Further reading: ACS Publications
Author(s): M. Alejandro Valdes-Pena et al
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