Anti-adhesion therapy of bacterial diseases: Prospects and problems

Itzhak Ofek*, David L. Hasty, Nathan Sharon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

358 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-191
Number of pages11
JournalFEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2003


FundersFunder number
US-Israel Binational Research Foundation99-422
National Institutes of Health
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious DiseasesR01AI042886


    • Carbohydrate
    • Cranberry
    • Fimbria


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