Next-Generation Drug Discovery to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance

Trends Biochem Sci. 2019 Nov;44(11):961-972. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2019.05.005. Epub 2019 Jun 27.


The widespread emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens poses a severe threat to public health. This problem becomes even worse with a coincident decline in the supply of new antibiotics. Conventional bioactivity-guided natural product discovery has failed to meet the urgent need for new antibiotics, largely due to limited resources and high rediscovery rates. Recent advances in cultivation techniques, analytical technologies, and genomics-based approaches have greatly expanded our access to previously underexploited microbial sources. These strategies will enable us to access new reservoirs of microorganisms and unleash their chemical potentials, thus opening new opportunities for the discovery of next-generation drugs to address the growing concerns of antimicrobial resistance.

Keywords: antimicrobial resistance; drug discovery; genome-scale screening; high-throughput screening; pathway refactoring.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry*
  • Biological Products / chemistry*
  • Biological Products / pharmacology*
  • Computational Biology
  • Drug Discovery / methods
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial / drug effects*
  • Genomics
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays / methods
  • Humans
  • Molecular Structure
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Biological Products