Antibiotics target functions that are required for bacterial growth and survival. As genetic tools for studying Mycobacterium tuberculosis continue to improve we are increasingly able to identify genes that encode these important effectors. Here we review the strategies that have been used to identify and validate essential genes in mycobacteria and look forward to possible future advances.
This is one of a series of articles commissioned and edited by the TB Alliance and published in a special issue of Tuberculosis, entitled 'Key issues in TB drug research and development'.
Tuberculosis (2008) 88, Supplement 1, S19-S24 [doi:10.1016/S1472-9792(08)70033-7]