New antimicrobials able to counteract bacterial resistance are needed to maintain the control of infectious diseases. The last 40 years have seen the systematic tailoring and refinement of previously identified antibiotics, to produce a multitude of semi-synthetic derivatives that share their mechanism of action with the original molecules. The major limit of this approach is the emergence of multi- and cross-resistant bacterial strains, favoured by the selective pressure inherent to the targeting of specific enzymes. The most promising new strategies aim to the development of molecules that, targeting essential bacterial structures instead of specific enzymatic activities, achieve infection control without enforcing a selective pressure on bacteria. This review, based on the consultation of the up-to-date literature, deals with antimicrobial peptides and some antivirulence factors.
Keywords: Antimicrobial peptides, antivirulence factors, bacterial targets, inhibitors of adhesion, inhibitors of colonization, phage therapy, toxin inhibitors, semi-synthetic, cross-resistant, antivirulence
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