Title: Fighting microbial resistance through development
of new antimicrobial agents, directed against new specific targets
Chairman: G.J. Koomen
T. den Blaauwen,
N. De Kimpe, M.
M. Meijler, S.
Mobashery, M.I Page,
H. Verheij , and
Increasing resistance of microorganisms against available antimicrobial
agents is of major concern amongst scientists and clinicians worldwide.
In general, it is observed that pathogenic viruses, bacteria, funghi
and protozoa are more and more difficult to treat with the existing
drugs. Notorious examples are Tuberculosis, Malaria, AIDS. The objective
of the project is to combine international scientific expertise
in order to develop new antimicrobial drugs, based on new specific
Resistance of micro÷rganisms is the result of normal evolutionary
processes of natural selection, that cannot be stopped and in the
best cases can be delayed.
Resistance has been observed for (i) viruses, like
HIV, the causative agent of AIDS (20% multidrug resistant), (ii)
all bacteria, including M. tuberculosis with strains, resistant
to 7 of the commonly used tuberculostatics, (iii) funghi, like Candida
and (iv) protozoa, with Plasmodium falciparum, causing malaria,
as a notorious example of a very resistant pathogen. To effectively
combat resistance mechanisms in micro÷rganisms, research on new
targets should actively continue to develop new weapons in a struggle
that will continue forever. In principle, it would be better to
design new drugs on a rational basis, than to screen natural sources
for new therapeutic agents, since in the latter case it cannot be
excluded that resistance already exists in some form in nature,
even before clinical trials have started. This research will be
directed not only to develop new bactericidal drugs, but also molecules
that inhibit virulence, for instance via interference with quorum
Development of new antiprotozoal, antibacterial and
antiviral drugs can only be effective if different experts worldwide
combine their expertise to tackle the immense problems of humanity
in the near future. For this purpose, interactions between (mico)biologists,
synthetic and medicinal chemists are essential.
Last update: 14 December 2005
<project announcement to be published
in Chem. Int.>