Drug Design and Antibiotics

Drug design follows the basic principle that the target enzyme to be blocked by an antibiotic should not occur in the human patient, but should occur in all pathogens one desires to limit with the antibiotic. Furthermore, it must be essential for the growth or, even better, for the survival of these pathogenic organisms. A further improvement (see above) is the use of drug combinations and, in addition, an estimate as to the number of mutations required for the development of resistance. In particular for viral pathogens such as HIV, the load in the bloodstream is so high that single-point mutations are selected in very short times, with rapid antibiotic failure if a single mutation of this kind suffices for resistance [46].

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