Chapter 1

Introduction

Manuela Oliveira, Amélia Fernandes and Isa Serrano

Abstract

Antibiotherapy protocols for infectious disease control were first applied in 1940s with penicillin. Although they led to a major decrease in morbidity and mortality rates, they were also responsible for the rapid emergence and dissemination of multidrug- resistant bacteria (MDR). This phenomena led to the prompt development of new antimicrobial compounds, which soon became ineffective due to bacteria ability to develop resistant traits through mutations or resistance genes transfer. </p><p> However, the development of new approaches for prevention and control of emerging infections remains one of the major priorities and challenges for Research and Innovation (R&I). The worldwide mortality rate due to infectious diseases keeps exponentially increasing, not only due to MDR bacteria dissemination, but also due to the decline in the development and commercialization of new generations of antibacterial compounds. </p><p> Considering the “One Health” concept, new antibacterial strategies are urgent, for human and veterinary medicine. Several R&I approaches are being followed, including phage therapy, antimicrobial peptides and bacteriocins, probiotics, natural compounds, immunomodulation via vaccination and biocides.

Total Pages: 3-9 (7)

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