and development of
new antibiotics and
The discovery of penicillin in 1928 marked the beginning of the age of antibiotics, a revolution in healthcare that has been the cornerstone in decreasing the morbidity and mortality of major bacterial infectious diseases in humans and animals. The availability of antibiotics has played a pivotal role in reducing the impact of major bacterial infectious diseases, such as pneumonia and tuberculosis. However, from the moment that antibiotics were used commonly to treat infectious diseases, bacteria have developed resistance to them. Accelerated by the overuse of antibiotics in the 20th century, multiple drug-resistant (MDR) bacteria have emerged in all parts of the world. Well-known examples include pathogens of the so-called ‘ESKAPE’ class, namely vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and multi-drug resistant (MDR) Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumanii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli; as well as among others Clostridium difficile and MDR and extremely drug resistant (XDR) tuberculosis (TB). Infections with these pathogens pose an enormous threat to human health and lead to massive costs for health care.