The biology and future prospects of antivirulence therapies

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2008 Jan;6(1):17-27. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro1818.


The emergence and increasing prevalence of bacterial strains that are resistant to available antibiotics demand the discovery of new therapeutic approaches. Targeting bacterial virulence is an alternative approach to antimicrobial therapy that offers promising opportunities to inhibit pathogenesis and its consequences without placing immediate life-or-death pressure on the target bacterium. Certain virulence factors have been shown to be potential targets for drug design and therapeutic intervention, whereas new insights are crucial for exploiting others. Targeting virulence represents a new paradigm to empower the clinician to prevent and treat infectious diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Bacteria / pathogenicity*
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy*
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Biofilms
  • Drug Design
  • Escherichia coli / pathogenicity
  • Escherichia coli Infections / microbiology
  • Escherichia coli Infections / therapy
  • Humans
  • Quorum Sensing
  • Urinary Tract Infections / microbiology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / therapy
  • Virulence / drug effects*
  • Virulence Factors / physiology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Virulence Factors