1. bookVolume 21 (2021): Issue 1 (January 2021)
Journal Details
First Published
25 Nov 2011
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Open Access

Overcoming bacterial resistance to antibiotics: the urgent need – a review

Published Online: 29 Jan 2021
Volume & Issue: Volume 21 (2021) - Issue 1 (January 2021)
Page range: 63 - 87
Received: 18 Nov 2019
Accepted: 09 Sep 2020
Journal Details
First Published
25 Nov 2011
Publication timeframe
4 times per year

The discovery of antibiotics is considered one of the most crucial breakthroughs in medicine and veterinary science in the 20th century. From the very beginning, this type of drug was used as a ‘miraculous cure’ for every type of infection. In addition to their therapeutic uses, antibiotics were also used for disease prevention and growth promotion in livestock. Though this application was banned in the European Union in 2006, antibiotics are still used in this way in countries all over the world. The unlimited and unregulated use of antibiotics has increased the speed of antibiotic resistance’s spread in different types of organisms. This phenomenon requires searching for new strategies to deal with hard-to-treat infections. The antimicrobial activity of some plant derivatives and animal products has been known since ancient times. At the beginning of this century, even more substances, such as antimicrobial peptides, were considered very promising candidates for becoming new alternatives to commonly used antimicrobials. However, many preclinical and clinical trials ended without positive results. A variety of strategies to fight microbes exist, but we are a long way from approving them as therapies. This review begins with the discovery of antibiotics, covers the modes of action of select antimicrobials, and ends with a literature review of the newest potential alternative approaches to overcoming the drug resistance phenomenon.


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