Reviving old antibiotics

July 15, 2015 at 8:33 am

Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy August 2015 V.70 N.8 P.2177-2181

Editor’s Choice

Ursula Theuretzbacher, Françoise Van Bambeke, Rafael Cantón, Christian G. Giske, Johan W. Mouton, Roger L. Nation, Mical Paul, John D. Turnidge, and Gunnar Kahlmeter

1Center for Anti-Infective Agents, Vienna, Austria

2Pharmacologie cellulaire et moléculaire, Louvain Drug Research Institute, Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium

3Servicio de Microbiología, Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal and Instituto Ramón y Cajal de Investigación Biomédica (IRYCIS), Madrid, Spain

4Clinical Microbiology, L2:02, Karolinska University Hospital, Solna, Stockholm, Sweden

5Department of Laboratory Medicine (LABMED), Division of Clinical Microbiology, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden

6Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

7Department of Medical Microbiology, Radboudumc Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

8Drug Delivery, Disposition and Dynamics, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Parkville, Victoria, Australia

9Division of Infectious Diseases, Rambam Health Care Campus and Faculty of Medicine, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel

10School of Biological Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

11Department of Clinical Microbiology, Central Hospital, Växjö, Sweden

12Department of Medical Sciences, Division of Clinical Bacteriology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

*Corresponding author. Center for Anti-Infective Agents, Eckpergasse 13, 1180 Vienna, Austria. Tel: +43-14797024; E-mail:

In the face of increasing antimicrobial resistance and the paucity of new antimicrobial agents it has become clear that new antimicrobial strategies are urgently needed.

One of these is to revisit old antibiotics to ensure that they are used correctly and to their full potential, as well as to determine whether one or several of them can help alleviate the pressure on more recent agents.

Strategies are urgently needed to ‘re-develop’ these drugs using modern standards, integrating new knowledge into regulatory frameworks and communicating the knowledge from the research bench to the bedside.

Without a systematic approach to re-developing these old drugs and rigorously testing them according to today’s standards, there is a significant risk of doing harm to patients and further increasing multidrug resistance.

This paper describes factors to be considered and outlines steps and actions needed to re-develop old antibiotics so that they can be used effectively for the treatment of infections.



Entry filed under: Antimicrobianos, Bacterias, Bacteriemias, Health Care-Associated Infections, Infecciones nosocomiales, Metodos diagnosticos, Resistencia bacteriana, Sepsis, Update.

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