Non-traditional antibacterial therapeutic options and challenges

Ursula Theuretzbacher, Laura Piddock

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)
205 Downloads (Pure)


The global challenges presented by drug-resistant bacterial infections have stimulated much activity in finding new treatments. This review summarizes the progress and setbacks of non-traditional approaches intent on circumventing bacterial drug resistance. These approaches include targeting virulence via toxin production and virulence factor secretion, impeding bacterial adhesion to host cells and biofilm formation, interrupting or inhibiting bacterial communication, and downregulating virulence. Other strategies include immune evasion, microbiome-modifying therapies, and the employment of phages as treatments or carriers. Finally, the prospects of nanoparticles, immunotherapy, antisense RNA, and drug-resistance-modulation approaches are discussed. The development of non-traditional treatments suffers similar challenges faced by developers of conventional antibiotics; however, most of these new strategies have additional and considerable hurdles before it can be shown that they are safe and efficacious for patient use. For the foreseeable future, it is likely that most of these treatments, if approved, will be used in combination with antibiotics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-72
Number of pages12
JournalCell Host & Microbe
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2019


  • anti-virulence
  • antisense RNA
  • immunotherapy
  • microbiome
  • nanoparticles
  • non-traditional antimicrobials
  • phage
  • quorum-sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Virology


Dive into the research topics of 'Non-traditional antibacterial therapeutic options and challenges'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this