Combination therapies for combating antimicrobial resistance

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2011 Oct;14(5):519-23. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2011.08.003. Epub 2011 Sep 6.


New drug development strategies are needed to combat antimicrobial resistance. The object of this perspective is to highlight one such strategy: treating infections with sets of drugs rather than individual drugs. We will highlight three categories of combination therapy: those that inhibit targets in different pathways; those that inhibit distinct nodes in the same pathway; and those that inhibit the very same target in different ways. We will then consider examples of naturally occurring combination therapies produced by micro-organisms, and conclude by discussing key opportunities and challenges for making more widespread use of drug combinations.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy*
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination / methods
  • Humans


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents