Summary: When resistance erodes the usefulness of antibiotics, we develop new ones, using natural products and large collections of synthetic compounds. Robots enable us to test millions of compounds for activity (high-throughput screening). The key to these methods is the availability of a simple, relevant test (assay), often a biochemical surrogate for a process occurring in the living microbe or in virus-infected host cells. Unfortunately, resistance has created a fundamental problem for drug discovery efforts: Use of new compounds is restricted to protect from resistance, thereby reducing financial incentive and diminishing antibiotic discovery efforts.
The examples described in the previous chapter illustrate ...
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