Anti-virulence strategies to combat bacteria-mediated disease

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2010 Feb;9(2):117-28. doi: 10.1038/nrd3013. Epub 2010 Jan 18.


Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest challenges of the twenty-first century. However, the increasing understanding of bacterial pathogenesis and intercellular communication has revealed many potential strategies to develop novel drugs to treat bacteria-mediated disease. Interference with bacterial virulence and/or cell-to-cell signalling pathways is an especially compelling approach, as it is thought to apply less selective pressure for the development of bacterial resistance than traditional strategies, which are aimed at killing bacteria or preventing their growth. Here, we discuss the mechanisms of bacterial virulence and present promising anti-virulence strategies and compounds for the future treatment of bacterial infections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Bacteria / pathogenicity
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy*
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Drug Design
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial*
  • Humans
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Virulence / drug effects


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents