Microbial natural products have been for decades one of the most successful sources of drugs to treat infectious
diseases. The high occurrence of resistances to all major classes of known antibiotics represents today a new challenge
and new classes of antibacterial compounds are urgently needed to respond to this unmet clinical need. While natural
products discovery programs have been gradually abandoned by big pharma, smaller biotechnology companies and other
research organizations are taking the lead in the discovery of novel antibacterials.
A survey of recent patents has shown that in spite of the efforts, few novel compounds are being developed that can overcome
most of the emerging multi-resistant and pan-resistant pathogens. In order to respond to the current challenges of
discovering novel antibiotics, new approaches are required to be developed to further exploit the microbial resources and
their biosynthetic potential as an untapped source of novel metabolites. Strategies to mine microbial collections for orphan
biosynthetic pathways and novel species thought to be uncultivable, are emerging as a need within antibacterial drug discovery
programs, in combination with high throughput screening and chemical dereplication of novel compounds. Different
innovative methods that are being developed to respond to the new challenges that are faced today by drug discovery
programs will ensure the evolution of these strategies into a completely new framework that will address the renovated interest
in the discovery of novel classes of antibiotics.
Keywords: Antibiotic, fermentation, microbial diversity, microbial natural products, multiresistance, patents, NATURAL PRODUCTS, Macrolides, Thiazolylpeptides, peptide deformylase
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