About this Research Topic
Multidrug-resistant (MDR) organisms are one of the key global problems faced by healthcare providers; where MDR superbugs used to be limited to hospital-acquired infection, they are now reported in community-acquired infections. This creates a dilemma as more potent antimicrobials need to be considered as first-line treatment, which in turn generates greater drug resistance. Treatment failure of bacterial infections has become more common as organisms that were once susceptible to the majority of clinically used antibiotics have developed resistance, resulting in greater morbidity and mortality rates.
Current research shows that there is a rising incidence of multidrug resistance among a wide variety of human pathogens. There is a myriad of mechanisms of resistance that can be observed, including altered targets of antimicrobial drugs (be they structural proteins or enzymes), and reduction of drug concentrations in the target organism by reducing entry or by active efflux, where the chromosomal coding to enable these are often transmitted from other bacteria via plasmids. Several researchers have warned that we may be headed back to the pre-antibiotic era if no solutions are found for the increasing trend of MDR organisms. Several research avenues have been suggested to combat this including combinations of existing antibiotics or using adjuvants in combination with antibiotics to overcome the resistance, and of course looking for new antibiotics or alternative treatments such as lytic bacteriophages.
Natural sources, such as botanical sources and microbes, represent a promising resource of novel molecules with potentially unique pharmacological mechanisms of action. While many natural substances, in particular herbal medicines, have a long history of being used as treatments for a variety of illnesses including fever and infections, only recently have there been evidence-based trials seeking to prove their efficacy. These extracts present a range of challenges to study as they are complex mixtures of many individual substances, and attempting to identify the active compound or optimal combination of compounds that are active against a particular organism can be daunting. Their precise mechanisms of action are also generally not well characterized; and while complex, research into the mechanisms of action of the extracts and compounds from these sources against pathogenic microorganisms may actually help to better understand the mechanisms of drug resistance or to understand the metabolic pathways better in order to seek new targets for treatment as well as to better understand the best choice of antimicrobials for a particular organism.
This Research Topic aims to provide a platform for experts in the field, bringing together research across a spectrum that looks at multiple angles of potential novel approaches related to natural drug discovery to treatment of infections with MDR bacteria.
The Research Topic welcomes studies (including Original Research, Perspectives, Reviews, Mini-reviews, General Commentaries, Opinion, Data Reports) that explore these topics, but not limited:
i) Possible new drugs or substances from natural sources that demonstrate antibacterial activity against MDR organisms and the underlying mechanisms by which they may exert their action.
ii) Resistance mechanisms and metabolic pathways in MDR organisms that could be new targets for treatment.
Note for authors:
Please, carefully consider the section where you submit your manuscript, as manuscripts should fit the scope of the section you are submitting to. Studies carried out with crude extracts and/or mixtures of substances should be submitted to the Ethnopharmacology section.
Manuscripts submitted to Ethnopharmacology need to fully comply with the Four Pillars of Best Practice in Ethnopharmacology (you can freely download the full version here).
Keywords: multidrug resistant bacteria, drug discovery, antibacterial activity, natural products, resistance mechanisms
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.