Editors: Manuela Oliveira, Isa Serrano

Series Title: Frontiers in Antimicrobial Agents

The challenges of antibiotic resistance in the development of new therapeutics

Volume 1

eBook: US $99 Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $168
Printed Copy: US $119
Library License: US $396
ISSN: 2452-2570 (Print)
ISSN: 2452-2589 (Online)
ISBN: 978-1-68108-141-0 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-68108-140-3 (Online)
Year of Publication: 2015
DOI: 10.2174/97816810814031150101

Introduction

The addition of only two novel classes of antibiotics to fight drug resistant microorganisms in the clinic over the past three decades means that the quest for new molecules that are effective against the threat of drug resistance is now a significant issue in modern medicine. Researchers have begun to experiment on alternative therapies to combat this threat.

Novel chemical agents are considered to be drugs of choice for tomorrow's clinical practice owing to their low probability to generate resistance. The first volume of Frontiers in Antimicrobial Agents describes innovative alternatives to the classical antimicrobial therapeutics, such as phage therapy, AMPs, probiotics, novel biocides, natural products and immunotherapy. Cutting-edge research is brought to the forefront, shedding light on the developments taking place to meet the challenge of drug resistant microorganisms. The volume also features information on antimicrobial approaches in veterinary medicine.

The book is a useful reference for researchers, microbiologists and healthcare professionals interested in updates on antibiotic resistance and alternatives to classical antibiotic therapy.

Foreword

The rapid development of highly effective antimicrobial agents during the 20th century revolutionized the treatment of diseases caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi; leading to the notion that "it was time to close the book on infectious diseases". However, today we are facing pandrug-resistant microorganisms, and antimicrobial resistance constitutes one of the major public health problems worldwide. Allied to this, the new antimicrobial agent’s development pipeline is at its all-time low; because of scientific, economic and regulatory hurdles.

While we must conserve the antimicrobials we have left by using them optimally, the process of developing new agents must also be accelerated. This will hopefully facilitate targeted therapy, improving therapeutic efficacy and decreasing antimicrobial resistance.

This book describes cutting-edge research on innovative alternatives to classical antimicrobial therapy – bacteriophages, antimicrobial peptides, probiotics, immunomodulators, natural compounds, bacteriocins and biocides – and the most appropriate approaches to control the spread of drug-resistant microorganisms.

Interestingly, this book is edited and partly written by scholars dedicated to Microbiology from the area of Veterinary Medicine. This is not surprising, because the amount of antimicrobials marketed for use in animals is approximately four times greater than the quantity used in human medicine. Furthermore, the widespread use of antimicrobial agents in animal production – often administered in lower doses and for longer periods of time – has been linked to the development of antimicrobial resistance.

While the novel therapeutic strategies in Veterinary Medicine have been a major focus in the last chapter, the book has input from a wide range of experts in different disciplines – from basic science to human clinical microbiology – and truly reflects the ‘One-Health’ approach which spans humans, animals and the wider environment.

One final note to remember by the enthusiastic reader is that, bacteria have shown, in this continuous “arms race”, that they can develop resistance to virtually all therapeutic agents. Therefore, it is very important to continue to use both antibiotics and their alternatives rationally and judiciously.

João João Mendes
Emergency Medicine and Intensive Care Internal Medicine Department,
Santa Marta's Hospital/Central Lisbon Hospital Center,
Lisbon, Portugal


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