Untreatable bacterial infections constitute a dark but valid threat, with numbers of antibiotic resistant pathogens, as well as newly emerging ones, rising quickly. To combat this dangerous prospect, growing research into antimicrobials could be aimed at targeting the virulence of pathogens. Virulence refers to an organism's ability to establish an infection and cause disease. Many steps involved in the infection process can be targeted, including adherence, invasion and host defense evasion. Identification and characterization of virulence factors that aid in bacterial pathogenicity will lead to new drugs that can be applied to a variety of pathogens.