Exposing plasmids as the Achilles' heel of drug-resistant bacteria

Julia J. Williams, Paul Hergenrother

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Many multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens harbor large plasmids that encode proteins conferring resistance to antibiotics. Although the acquisition of these plasmids often enables bacteria to survive in the presence of antibiotics, it is possible that plasmids also represent a vulnerability that can be exploited in tailored antibacterial therapy. This review highlights three recently described strategies designed to specifically combat bacteria harboring such plasmids: inhibition of plasmid conjugation, inhibition of plasmid replication, and exploitation of plasmid-encoded toxin-antitoxin systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-399
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Opinion in Chemical Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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