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Numerous scientific reports, public announcements and related campaigns have made it painfully clear that the health care community is on the brink of a major crisis–a lack of therapeutic options for the prevention and treatment of bacterial infections. Complicating this issue has been the well documented decline in industrial antibacterial initiatives and corresponding increased reliance on academicians to fill the early antimicrobial discovery void. Yet, while academic researchers may have innovative ideas, there is typically a gap in understanding aspects of the development process.
The overarching goals of the American Society for Microbiology Conference on Antibacterial Development are to provide an intimate setting to facilitate cross pollination of ideas between government, academic, and industrial scientists whose research focuses on the three predominant means of combating bacterial infection: antibiotics, passive immunization, and active vaccination. An aim is to provide a forum to understand lessons learned from industrial colleagues in terms of how to move an antibacterial target or candidate forward and provide government/academic/private sector collaboration. Additionally, sessions will also span the future of these fields, including advances in diagnostic approaches and understanding the impact of antimicrobial use in other areas.