Slowing germ resistance

New alternatives to antibiotics should require the use of naturally occurring compounds capable of stimulating the immune system of animals to kill disease causing pathogens.


A conventional antibiotic will almost guarantee the appearance of resistant organisms within about five years. Soon the antibiotic would no longer be effective.

A robust research program called VIDO, reported by Farmscape, is trying to make sure they kill bad germs in an indirect fashion. This will avoid problems associated with organisms becoming resistant as they do with antibiotics.

An indirect way of approaching the problem of killing organisms harnesses natural compounds called host defense peptides — small molecules naturally occurring in all living species that can kill bacteria and viruses.

Natural peptides can kill directly or they can turn on the immune system to kill in an indirect fashion, but they do not cause resistance.