The impact of microbial genomics on antimicrobial drug development

Annu Rev Genomics Hum Genet. 2001;2:259-69. doi: 10.1146/annurev.genom.2.1.259.


There is an urgent need to develop novel classes of antibiotics to counter the threat of the spread of multiply resistant bacterial pathogens. The availability of the complete genome sequence of many pathogenic microbes provides information on every potential drug target and is an invaluable resource in the search for novel compounds. Here, we review the approaches being taken to exploit the genome databases through a combination of bioinformatics, transcriptional analysis, and a further understanding of the molecular basis of the disease process. The emphasis is changing from compound screening to target hunting, as the latter offers flexible ways to design and optimize the next generation of broad-spectrum antibiotics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Databases, Genetic
  • Drug Design*
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial / genetics
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Genome, Bacterial*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents