Infectious diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms, such as viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites. The need to develop novel anti-infective drugs has never been greater due to the rise of resistance and the lack of novel compounds available for the treatments. Given the large number of emerging and neglected infectious diseases and the fact that the developing world suffers the major burden of them, a joint effort focused on these global health issues is urgently required to develop new drugs.
Drug discovery for infectious diseases has been based on phenotypic screening, however, new chemotherapeutics with known mechanism-of-action are highly desirable to anticipate drug resistance. Particular advantages and disadvantages of phenotypic vs target-based approaches are well known, and the combination of both strategies is logically the best way to move forward and optimize the drug discovery process in the field.