Infectious Disease: Evolving Challenges to Human Health
ANTIBIOTICS & EMERGING DRUG RESISTANCE

Where Are New Antibiotics Found?

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New Antibiotics Are Needed

Once the recipient bacterium has a copy of the plasmid, it also becomes resistant to the antibiotic. Both bacteria will pass the resistance gene to their daughter cells when they divide, and both can also continue passing the gene along to other cells in the process shown here.

Where Are New Antibiotics Found?
The discovery and development of most new drugs begins with screening for antibacterial activity in populations of microscopic organisms. A typical soil sample, for example, contains thousands of different species. As bacteria, fungi, and other microscopic organisms compete for the basic resources of life, they make chemicals that are harmful to competing organisms. Researchers rely on structural and biochemical differences between bacteria and human cells: they are looking for chemicals that can kill bacteria but not harm human cells.

The typical timetable and steps for developing a new antibiotic medication:

Research & Development, Principal Evaluation
1 TO 3 YEARS

Clinical Research & Development
Phases 1, 2, 3
2 TO 10 YEARS

Product License Application, Established License Application, New Drug Application, New Drug Application Review
2 MONTHS TO 3 YEARS

Post-Marketing Surveillance


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