The increase in drug-resistant pathogenic bacteria has created an urgent de
mand for new antibiotics. Among the more attractive targets for the develop
ment of new antibacterial compounds are the enzymes of fatty acid biosynthe
sis. Although a number of potent inhibitors of microbial fatty acid biosynt
hesis have been discovered, few of these are clinically useful drugs. Sever
al of these fatty acid biosynthesis inhibitors have potential as lead compo
unds in the development of new antibacterials. This review encompasses the
known inhibitors and prospective targets for new antibacterials.