It is proven that antiobiotic resistance is not a matter of "if" but a matter of "when". Therefore, medicinal chemists must stay ahead of the curve in order to combat the new wave of antiobiotic resistance. The innovative gap represents the ongoing, cyclical process of constantly striding to stay ahead of the game.
Bacteria quickly adapt to the new antibiotics that are introduced. In the 1930s and 1940s, bacteria did not develop resistance to antibiotics very quickly. However in the past decade, bacteria is evolving much more rapidly. Therefore, medicinal chemists are have a shorter time frame in which to develop new antibiotics.
Increasing the GapEdit
In roder to increase the time interval of the innovative gap, the treatment approaches of antibiotics needs to be examined. Techniques include using direct observation therapy, withholding more powerful drugs, and screening for resistance before treatment. By limiting antiobiotic exposure, it limits the opportunites for the bacteria to develop resistance towards it.
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Walsh, P. 2003. Where will new antibiotics come from? Nature Reviews: Microbiology. 1:65-70.