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Can antivirulence drugs stop infections without causing resistance?

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Antivirulence drugs disarm pathogens rather than kill them, and although they could be effective in theory, antivirulence drugs have never been tested in humans. A new study to in mBio reveals these drugs have the potential to fight infection while avoiding the pitfalls of drug resistance.

Traditional antibiotics aim to kill or stop the growth of pathogens, but antivirulence drugs prevent disease by neutralizing virulence factors, the specific proteins or toxins that a pathogen uses to establish an infection. It’s long been thought that such a strategy could prevent pathogens from developing drug resistance, since antivirulence drugs don’t kill the pathogens that are susceptible and leave a wide opening for the few resistant organisms that may be left. Thus, in theory, antivirulence drugs don’t offer much benefit to the resistant pathogens that get around the drug. However, these ideas have never been tested. This new study provides evidence that antivirulence drugs have the potential to suppress resistance – if they are applied in the right way.

Click on the “Source” link abovfe to read more on mBio’s blog, mBiosphere…
 
 

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