Beyond Antibiotics: New Therapeutic Approaches for Bacterial Infections

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Abstract

The utility of conventional antibiotics for the treatment of bacterial infections has become increasingly strained due to increased rates of resistance coupled with reduced rates of development of new agents. As a result, multidrug-resistant, extensively drug-resistant, and pandrug-resistant bacterial strains are now frequently encountered. This has led to fears of a “postantibiotic era” in which many bacterial infections will be untreatable. Alternative nonantibiotic treatment strategies need to be explored to ensure that a robust pipeline of effective therapies is available to clinicians. In this review, we highlight some of the recent developments in this area, such as the targeting of bacterial virulence factors, utilization of bacteriophages to kill bacteria, and manipulation of the microbiome to combat infections.

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