Research Topic

Drugs Re-Purposing for the Treatment of Bacterial and Viral Infections

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About this Research Topic

Infectious diseases, caused by bacteria and viruses, are among the leading causes of death worldwide. The emergence of drug resistance factors threaten the efficacy of all current antimicrobial agents, with some already made ineffective, and, as a result, there is an urgent need for new treatment approaches. ...

Infectious diseases, caused by bacteria and viruses, are among the leading causes of death worldwide. The emergence of drug resistance factors threaten the efficacy of all current antimicrobial agents, with some already made ineffective, and, as a result, there is an urgent need for new treatment approaches. International organizations such as the World Health Organization and the European Centre for Diseases Control have recognized infections caused by multi-drug-resistant (MDR) bacteria as a priority for global health action, and new policies and actions are needed to avoid the predicted figures for 2050 of 10 million deaths caused by MDR bacteria.

Classical antimicrobial drug discovery involves in vitro screening for antimicrobial candidates, Structure Activity Relationship (SAR) analysis, followed by in vivo testing for toxicity. Bringing drugs from the bench to the bedside involves huge expenditures in time and resources. This, along with the relatively short window of therapeutic application for antibiotics attributed to the rapid emergence of drug resistance, has, at least until recently, resulted in a waning interest in antibiotic discovery among pharmaceutical companies. In this environment, “re-purposing” (defined as investigating new uses for existing approved drugs) has gained renewed interest, as reflected by several recent studies, and may help to speed up the drug development process and save years of expensive research invested in antimicrobial drug development.

The goal of this Research Topic is to systematically provide an overview of the scientific evidence on potential non-antimicrobial treatments (including phages or derivates) targeting bacteria and viruses. Specifically, we aim to: i) list potential approved drugs identified from drug screens, ii) review their mechanism of action against bacteria and viruses, iii) summarize the outcome of pre-clinical and clinical trials investigating approved drugs targeting these pathogens and iv) association of non-antimicrobial treatments and antimicrobial treatments.

We welcome researchers to submit reviews, opinions, or original research focusing on drug re-purposing treatment against bacteria and viruses.

We would like to thank Dr. Younes Smani (IBIS-Seville, Spain) for his important participation in the development of this Research Topic.


Keywords: Infection, Bacteria, Virus, Re-Purposing Drugs, Treatment, Antimicrobial, Resistance, Drug


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