alexa Targeting virulence: can we make evolution-proof drugs?
Microbiology

Microbiology

Journal of Antimicrobial Agents

Author(s): Allen RC, Popat R, Diggle SP, Brown SP

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Abstract Antivirulence drugs are a new type of therapeutic drug that target virulence factors, potentially revitalising the drug-development pipeline with new targets. As antivirulence drugs disarm the pathogen, rather than kill or halt pathogen growth, it has been hypothesized that they will generate much weaker selection for resistance than traditional antibiotics. However, recent studies have shown that mechanisms of resistance to antivirulence drugs exist, seemingly damaging the 'evolution-proof' claim. In this Opinion article, we highlight a crucial distinction between whether resistance can emerge and whether it will spread to a high frequency under drug selection. We argue that selection for resistance can be reduced, or even reversed, using appropriate combinations of target and treatment environment, opening a path towards the development of evolutionarily robust novel therapeutics. This article was published in Nat Rev Microbiol and referenced in Journal of Antimicrobial Agents

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