What is the potential of antivirulence antimicrobial therapy?

The most likely future for antivirulence therapies is that they become adjuncts rather than alternatives to antibiotic therapy. That’s the case for one of the first modern antivirulence therapies, bezlotoxumab (Zinplava) for prevention of recurrent C. difficile infections. Bezlotoxumab targets one of the toxins produced by C. diff, rather than the bug itself. It was shown to lower the recurrence Read More …

Staph aureus and the neighborhood watch

Of all the bad bugs, S. aureus – Staph – is accounted among the worst. Several hundred thousand Americans suffer severe Staph infections every year and 30,000 die. If any bacterium deserves to be classified as a pest and a killer, a microbial reprobate beyond redemption, it is surely the grape-clustered golden spheres of Staphylococcus aureus. But few bugs Read More …

Does resistance to antivirulence therapy develop more slowly than antibiotic resistance?

Antivirulence therapies were among the very first scientific medicines. In the 1880’s Emil von Behring and Kitasato Shibasaburo developed antiserum therapies for diphtheria and tetanus. These antisera, when injected into patients, neutralized bacterial toxins without killing the bacteria. They cut the case fatality rates for these terrible diseases in half, and von Behring (but not the darker-skinned Kitasato) was recognized with the Read More …