Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 102, Issue 7, pp 2949–2963 | Cite as

(Some) current concepts in antibacterial drug discovery

  • Lasse van Geelen
  • Dieter Meier
  • Nidja Rehberg
  • Rainer Kalscheuer


The rise of multidrug resistance in bacteria rendering pathogens unresponsive to many clinical drugs is widely acknowledged and considered a critical global healthcare issue. There is broad consensus that novel antibacterial chemotherapeutic options are extremely urgently needed. However, the development pipeline of new antibacterial drug lead structures is poorly filled and not commensurate with the scale of the problem since the pharmaceutical industry has shown reduced interest in antibiotic development in the past decades due to high economic risks and low profit expectations. Therefore, academic research institutions have a special responsibility in finding novel treatment options for the future. In this mini review, we want to provide a broad overview of the different approaches and concepts that are currently pursued in this research field.


Antibiotic Pathogen Endophyte Myxobacteria Marine invertebrate Drug conjugate 


Funding information

Work in the Kalscheuer laboratory related to this topic is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) research training group GRK 2158, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF (16GW0109), and the Juergen Manchot Foundation (MOI III Graduate School).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and BiotechnologyHeinrich Heine University DüsseldorfDusseldorfGermany

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