The future challenges facing the development of new antimicrobial drugs

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2002 Nov;1(11):895-910. doi: 10.1038/nrd940.


The emergence of resistance to antibacterial agents is a pressing concern for human health. New drugs to combat this problem are therefore in great demand, but as past experience indicates, the time for resistance to new drugs to develop is often short. Conventionally, antibacterial drugs have been developed on the basis of their ability to inhibit bacterial multiplication, and this remains at the core of most approaches to discover new antibacterial drugs. Here, we focus primarily on an alternative novel strategy for antibacterial drug development that could potentially alleviate the current situation of drug resistance--targeting non-multiplying latent bacteria, which prolong the duration of antimicrobial chemotherapy and so might increase the rate of development of resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemical synthesis*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Technology, Pharmaceutical / methods
  • Technology, Pharmaceutical / trends*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents