The rise of resistance of pathogenic bacteria to antibiotics constitutes an increasing risk to public health. Environmental bacteria constitute a large reservoir of resistance determinants and it is predictable that resistance to more antibiotics will be acquired by even more pathogens in future. Innovative strategies are therefore needed to discover novel antibiotic targets as well as alternatives to classical antibiotics. This review will discuss recent advances toward the development of an alternative to classical antibiotics, antivirulence drugs targeting bacterial secretion systems that would disarm rather than kill bacteria. Important progress has been made especially targeting type III secretion systems that are used by many different Gram-negative pathogens. Antivirulence drugs that disarm bacterial pathogens have the potential to be an important alternative or addition to classical antibiotics in future.
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