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Molecules 2015, 20(4), 5286-5298; doi:10.3390/molecules20045286

Antibiotic Discovery: Combatting Bacterial Resistance in Cells and in Biofilm Communities

1
Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia
2
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Peter J. Rutledge
Received: 12 February 2015 / Revised: 11 March 2015 / Accepted: 18 March 2015 / Published: 24 March 2015
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Abstract

Bacterial resistance is a rapidly escalating threat to public health as our arsenal of effective antibiotics dwindles. Therefore, there is an urgent need for new antibiotics. Drug discovery has historically focused on bacteria growing in planktonic cultures. Many antibiotics were originally developed to target individual bacterial cells, being assessed in vitro against microorganisms in a planktonic mode of life. However, towards the end of the 20th century it became clear that many bacteria live as complex communities called biofilms in their natural habitat, and this includes habitats within a human host. The biofilm mode of life provides advantages to microorganisms, such as enhanced resistance towards environmental stresses, including antibiotic challenge. The community level resistance provided by biofilms is distinct from resistance mechanisms that operate at a cellular level, and cannot be overlooked in the development of novel strategies to combat infectious diseases. The review compares mechanisms of antibiotic resistance at cellular and community levels in the light of past and present antibiotic discovery efforts. Future perspectives on novel strategies for treatment of biofilm-related infectious diseases are explored. View Full-Text
Keywords: infection control; opportunistic pathogens; bacterial evolution; eDNA; quorum sensing; biofilm matrix; unculturable microorganisms; drug discovery; natural products infection control; opportunistic pathogens; bacterial evolution; eDNA; quorum sensing; biofilm matrix; unculturable microorganisms; drug discovery; natural products
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Penesyan, A.; Gillings, M.; Paulsen, I.T. Antibiotic Discovery: Combatting Bacterial Resistance in Cells and in Biofilm Communities. Molecules 2015, 20, 5286-5298.

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