Novel antimicrobial agents for combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2022 Aug;187:114378. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2022.114378. Epub 2022 Jun 4.


Antibiotic therapy has become increasingly ineffective against bacterial infections due to the rise of resistance. In particular, ESKAPE pathogens (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species) have caused life-threatening infections in humans and represent a major global health threat due to a high degree of antibiotic resistance. To respond to this urgent call, novel strategies are urgently needed, such as bacteriophages (or phages), phage-encoded enzymes, immunomodulators and monoclonal antibodies. This review critically analyses these promising antimicrobial therapies for the treatment of multidrug-resistant bacterial infections. Recent advances in these novel therapeutic strategies are discussed, focusing on preclinical and clinical investigations, as well as combinatorial approaches. In this 'Bad Bugs, No Drugs' era, novel therapeutic strategies can play a key role in treating deadly infections and help extend the lifetime of antibiotics.

Keywords: Antimicrobial resistance; Bacteriophage (phage); ESKAPE; Endolysin; Immunomodulators; Monoclonal antibodies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acinetobacter baumannii*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacterial Infections* / drug therapy
  • Bacteriophages*
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial
  • Enterococcus faecium*
  • Humans


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents