Caister Academic Press

Antibodies for Antibacterials

Bret R. Sellman and C. Ken Stover
from: Emerging Trends in Antibacterial Discovery: Answering the Call to Arms (Edited by: Alita A. Miller and Paul F. Miller). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2011)


Prior to the use of antibiotics, antibody (or serum) therapy was used with some success to treat bacterial infections. Antibiotics almost completely replaced the use of antibody therapies for bacterial disease with few exceptions. Based upon the information available at the time, this was an obvious progression given the broader spectrum activity of antibiotics. Antibiotics revolutionized medicine and the approach to treating infectious disease. In addition to their broad spectrum, they exhibited few side-effects relative to the potential for serum sickness (following the administration of equine immune serum) and they were inexpensive. But bacterial resistance to antibiotics became evident in the decades to follow, and we are now faced with a shortage of effective antibiotics and a need for alternative approaches to stand-alone antibiotic therapy. One such approach which could supplement antibiotic use, thereby removing some of the selective pressure from antibiotics, is monoclonal antibody therapy or prophylaxis. Recent advances in monoclonal antibody technology and discovery strategies and the ability to make a fully human antibody have led to the marketing of ~30 recombinant antibodies and Fc fusion proteins to treat a variety of human diseases. Although this technology has yet to yield an antibacterial product, many clinical and preclinical programs are underway to explore varied and novel approaches to monoclonal antibody-based anti-infectives read more ...
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