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The arsenal of pathogens and antivirulence therapeutic strategies for disarming them

Authors Brannon J, Hadjifrangiskou M

Received 17 March 2016

Accepted for publication 8 April 2016

Published 27 May 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 1795—1806

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S98939

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Qinghua Deng

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Wei Duan


John R Brannon,1 Maria Hadjifrangiskou1,2

1Division of Molecular Pathogenesis, Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, 2Department of Urologic Surgery, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN, USA

Abstract: Pathogens deploy an arsenal of virulence factors (VFs) to establish themselves within their infectious niche. The discovery of antimicrobial compounds and their development into therapeutics has made a monumental impact on human and microbial populations. Although humans have used antimicrobials for medicinal and agricultural purposes, microorganism populations have developed and shared resistance mechanisms to persevere in the face of classical antimicrobials. However, a positive substitute is antivirulence therapy; antivirulence therapeutics prevent or interrupt an infection by counteracting a pathogen’s VFs. Their application can reduce the use of broad-spectrum antimicrobials and dampen the frequency with which resistant strains emerge. Here, we summarize the contribution of VFs to various acute and chronic infections. In correspondence with this, we provide an overview of the research and development of antivirulence strategies.

Keywords: virulence factors, antivirulence therapeutics, biofilms, regulation, Escherichia coli, quorum sensing, persister cells

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