Genomics in anti-infective drug discovery--getting to endgame

Curr Pharm Des. 2002;8(13):1099-118. doi: 10.2174/1381612023394845.


Whole chromosome sequence of prokaryotes has provided the availability of multiple bacterial pathogen sequence data and it has become a widely used tool in the drug discovery process. However the sequence data in itself is merely a starting point for drug discovery of novel antibacterial targets and, eventually, drugs. In order to leverage this large amount of data it is necessary to match an understanding of the microbial physiology of pathogenic bacteria to disease processes and identifying the gene products for which intervention may reduce or eliminate the infectious state. However, to date, the application of genomics to anti-infective drug discovery has not, since 1995 with the first complete sequence of a pathogenic bacterium, led to identification of a novel antibacterial agent. Here we review the field of bacterial genomics and how it is enabling the drug discovery process. Many new molecular-based technologies (proteomics, transcriptional profiling, studies of gene expression in vivo) have originated or have expanded into wider use, and have been made possible by the availability of complete bacterial genome sequence information and subsequent bioinformatic analytic tools. Taken together, these technologies, overlaid within an established drug discovery program, now affords the opportunity for the identification, validation, and process design for high-throughput target mining at unprecedented volumes and timeframes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Drug Design*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial / genetics
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Genomics*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents