Affiliation: Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Department of Pediatrics, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA.
Chemoinfectomics (chemical infectomics) is the study of small exogenous molecules that are highly specified to define molecular targets (e.g., genes, proteins, glycans, and lipids) or infectomic signatures, to enable functional analysis of microbes and their hosts, and to uncover new antimicrobial drug leads. It requires multidisciplinary expertise in chemical omics (chemogenomics, chemoproteomics, chemoglycomics and chemolipidomics), infectious diseases, and computational sciences (bioinformatics, cheminformatics, large scale statistics and machine learning methods). Chemoinfectomics will overcome the major limitation of the conventional paradigm of managing infectious diseases, which has mainly targeted on microorganisms with low selectivity. The development of drug resistance to both pathogenic and nonpathogenic microbes has been one of the most serious disadvantages of the traditional microbe-directed drug targeting strategies. Therefore, a new chemoinfectomics-based drug discovery paradigm has emerged, focusing on identifying and targeting host factors essential for microbial interactions and pathogenesis. Innovative strategies combining chemoinfectomics, computational biology, and conventional targeting of microbial virulence factors have the potential to greatly augment the protective host factors and to specifically and efficiently eliminate the invading pathogen.