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Anti-adhesion therapy of bacterial diseases: prospects and problems

FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2003 Oct 15;38:181-91

Itzhak Ofek, David L Hasty, Nathan Sharon

The alarming increase in drug-resistant bacteria makes a search for novel means of fighting bacterial infections imperative. An attractive approach is the use of agents that interfere with the ability of the bacteria to adhere to tissues of the host, since such adhesion is one of the initial stages of the infectious process. The validity of this approach has been unequivocally demonstrated in experiments performed in a wide variety of animals, from mice to monkeys, and recently also in humans. Here we review various approaches to anti-adhesion therapy, including the use of receptor and adhesin analogs, dietary constituents, sublethal concentrations of antibiotics and adhesin-based vaccines. Because anti-adhesive agents are not bactericidal, the propagation and spread of resistant strains is much less likely to occur than as a result of exposure to bactericidal agents, such as antibiotics. Anti-adhesive drugs, once developed, may, therefore, serve as a new means to fight infectious diseases. PDF


Importance of lectins for the prevention of bacterial infections and cancer metastases

Glycoconj J. 1995 Feb;12(1):1-6. Beuth J, Ko HL, Pulverer G, Uhlenbruck G, Pichlmaier H.

  • Adhesion of bacteria and of metastasizing tumour cells have much in common, especially the participation of lectins in this process. In the future it might be possible to inhibit the metastatic process and bacterial adhesion by blocking with lectins specific for appropriate (oligo) saccharides or glycoconjugates. Initial clinical trials are very promising.