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Synopsis

The need for novel antibiotics is greater now than perhaps any time since the pre-antibiotic era. Indeed, the recent collapse of many pharmaceutical antibacterial groups, combined with the emergence of hypervirulent and pan-antibiotic-resistant bacteria has severely compromised infection treatment options and led to dramatic increases in the incidence and severity of bacterial infections.

This collection of reviews and laboratory protocols gives the reader an introduction to the causes of antibiotic resistance, the bacterial strains that pose the largest danger to humans (i.e., streptococci, pneumococci and enterococci) and the antimicrobial agents used to combat infections with these organisms. Some new avenues that are being investigated for antibiotic development are also discussed. Such developments include the discovery of agents that inhibit bacterial RNA degradation, the bacterial ribosome, and structure-based approaches to antibiotic drug discovery.

Two laboratory protocols are provided to illustrate different strategies for discovering new antibiotics. One is a bacterial growth inhibition assay to identify inhibitors of bacterial growth that specifically target conditionally essential enzymes in the pathway of interest. The other protocol is used to identify inhibitors of bacterial cell-to-cell signaling.

This e-book — a curated collection from eLS, WIREs, and Current Protocols — offers a fantastic introduction to the field of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance for students or interdisciplinary collaborators.

Table of Contents:

Introduction

Antibiotics and the Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance
eLS
Jose L Martinez, Fernando Baquero

Antimicrobials Against Streptococci, Pneumococci and Enterococci
eLS
Susan Donabedian, Adenike Shoyinka

Techniques & Applications

RNA decay: a novel therapeutic target in bacteria
WIREs RNA
Tess M. Eidem, Christelle M. Roux, Paul M. Dunman

Antibiotics that target protein synthesis
WIREs RNA
Lisa S. McCoy, Yun Xie, Yitzhak Tor

Methods

High-Throughput Assessment of Bacterial Growth Inhibition by Optical Density Measurements
Current Protocols Chemical Biology
Jennifer Campbell

Structure-Based Approaches to Antibiotic Drug Discovery
Current Protocols Microbiology
George Nicola, Ruben Abagyan

Novel Approaches to Bacterial Infection Therapy by Interfering with Cell-to-Cell Signaling
Current Protocols Microbiology
David A. Rasko, Vanessa Sperandio

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