Exploiting genomics, genetics and chemistry to combat antibiotic resistance

Nat Rev Genet. 2003 Jun;4(6):432-41. doi: 10.1038/nrg1084.


To address the worsening problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria there is an urgent need to develop new antibiotics. Comparative genomics and molecular genetics are being applied to produce lists of essential new targets for compound screening programmes. Combinatorial chemistry and structural biology are being applied to rapidly explore and optimize the interactions between lead compounds and their biological targets. Several compounds that have been identified from target-based screens are now in development, but technical and economic constraints might result in a trickle, rather than a flood, of new antibiotics onto the market in the near future.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Bacterial Vaccines / chemistry
  • Bacterial Vaccines / genetics
  • Drug Design
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Forecasting
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Genomics* / trends
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacterial Vaccines