How do antibiotics fight viruses

Fight bacteria with viruses

The development of resistance is a natural evolutionary process that cannot be prevented, but only delayed, even with optimal use of antibiotics. It is therefore imperative to find new ways to control dangerous bacteria and make them available in patient care.

Researchers are working on new approaches: For example, they use phages, a special form of virus that only attack certain bacteria. Or they try to block the development of the disease in infected people by destroying the toxins produced by the bacteria with suitable active ingredients. New detection methods can help to use antibiotics in a more targeted manner. To do this, the researchers need to clarify which type of pathogen triggered the symptoms of the disease and which active ingredients they can fight. This prevents the development of resistance and improves patient care.

"Antibiotic-resistant pathogens are making treatment for infectious diseases increasingly difficult and have become a global threat. It is all the more important that research finds new forms of therapy and combating bacteria," said Federal Research Minister Wanka.

From 2017 onwards, the BMBF will support alliances from industry and science in finding solutions in these two research fields. The focus is particularly on small and medium-sized companies. A total of up to 15 million euros are available for this, the projects should have a maximum duration of three years.

In the pharmaceutical dialogue of the federal government, dealing with antibiotic resistance was identified as a central challenge for the future. The BMBF also supports numerous research institutions that are devoted to researching new active ingredients.

More information: The funding announcement can be read under the following link:

Project outlines can be submitted by January 16, 2017.