Disarming bacteria as an alternative to antibiotics

Ricardo Monteiro


    Ricardo Monteiro


    i3S – Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde da Universidade do Porto - Associação, Portugal


    The overuse of antibiotics is driving the development of drug-resistant bacteria, which the World Health Organization has declared one of the greatest threats facing humanity. In addition to increased death and disability, antimicrobial resistance leads to longer hospital stays, greater healthcare costs, and reduced patient quality of life.

    An innovative alternative that has been explored in recent years to prevent resistance involves “disarming”, rather than killing, bacteria. This project has identified a drug candidate that targets sugars on the cell wall to render harmless the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes (Lm).

    This pathogen accounts for 19% of food contamination-related deaths in Europe. The aim is to achieve preclinical validation and explore its potential as a complementary strategy to fight bacterial infections in combination with antibiotics and antimicrobial peptides.