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Antibiotic resistance is rising to dangerously high levels all over the world, and resistance mechanisms are threatening our ability to treat even common infectious diseases. While calls for new therapies are issued frequently, development of new successful drugs is becoming rare. This event explores new strategies towards successfully using antibiotics to treat infections, starting from understanding the mechanisms bacteria use to evade antibiotics, genomic approaches to improving antibiotic efficiency and other approaches researchers take to discover new ways of treating bacterial infections...
How bacteria play hide and seek with antibiotics, immunity and vaccines
Pietro Mastroeni (Reader in Infection and Immunity)
To grow and spread in the body, bacteria need to engage in an arms race with the immune system, usually underpinned by multifaceted and intertwined events. The design and appropriate use of vaccines and antibiotics should be supported by fundamental knowledge of the biology of these interactions. How often does this happen?
Discovering and predicting antibiotic resistance using genomics
Julian Parkhill (Head of Infection Genomics and Senior Group Leader)
Antibiotic resistance in bacteria is of growing concern, with apocalyptic predictions of the consequences of resistance increasingly appearing in the media. Sequencing the genomes of bacteria can identify the emergence and transmission of resistant strains, and the genetic variants that confer resistance. These can be used to improve antibiotic use in the clinic, and counter the rise of resistant strains.
Harnessing microbial machinery in the hunt for new antibiotics
The availability of potent antibiotics is taken for granted in the modern era. Every year, however, the global antibiotic resistance problem gets a bit worse, and currently our best drug discovery efforts are only slowing down the onslaught. We need ingenious ways to discover new bug-defeating drugs, and fast. New approaches have emerged to explore the depths of microbe biochemistry for previously unexploited compounds.