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Table 1 Summary of some non-antibiotic inhibitors of bacterial growth and/or pathogenesis

From: Non-antibiotic treatments for bacterial diseases in an era of progressive antibiotic resistance

Treatment strategy Mechanism of action Possible benefits
Hemoperfusion devices [3, 4] Extracorporeal filters that clear blood pathogens by their physiochemical properties Quickly reduce blood concentrations of selected bacteria by orders of magnitude
Quorum sensing inhibitors [5, 6] Disrupt intercellular signaling between bacteria to block coordinated tissue invasion Blocks sensing of necessary concentrations of bacteria for optimal synthesis of virulence and invasion genes
Lytic bacteriophage [7, 8] Bacteriolysis induced by selected lytic phage or phage cocktails Parasitic predators of bacteria that can be used as highly specific, targeted, bactericidal agents
Polyclonal or monoclonal antibodies [911]; immune adjuvants [12] Improved bacterial vaccines, transgenic cattle for polyclonal immunotherapy; designer monoclonal antibodies; immune-stimulant therapy for sepsis induced immunosuppression Active or passive immunotherapy to opsonize bacteria or inhibit exotoxins and virulence factors; adjuvants to stimulate cellular immune function
Liposome-based cyto-toxin inhibitors [13] Engineered liposomes to serve as cell membrane decoys to absorb bacterial cyto-toxins Capture pore-forming cyto-toxins and protect host cell membranes from cellular injury
Non-immune toleralizing approaches [14, 15] Treatments allowing the host to survive and compensate for pathogen presence or until immune clearance removes the pathogen Permits the host to tolerate the pathogen until cleared by immune or non-immune mechanisms (e.g., oral or intravenous fluids for cholera)