Lege Artis Medicinae

[The increasing threat of antibiotic resistance: implications for antibiotic prescribing in community practice]

ROBERT Sutherland

MARCH 30, 1994

Lege Artis Medicinae - 1994;4(03 KLSZ)

[Infectious diseases caused by bacteria have been treated successfully by antibiotic therapy for the past half century, and a diversity of antibacterial agents with widely differing mechanisms of action has been developed by the pharmaceutical industry. However the selective pressure of antibiotic usage has inevitably led to the isolation of resistant bacteria and the rate of emergence of antibiotic resistance appears to be increasing rapidly, reducing the effectiveness of existing agents. Factors responsible for the wide dissemination of antibioticresistant bacteria in both community and hospital practice include the acquisition and spread of resistant genes by plasmids and transposons, inappropriate antibiotic usage and social factors. Mechanisms to controll the emergence of antibiotic resistance require optimal usage of antibiotics by clinicians, control programmes to improve hygiene and to reduce the transmission of resistant bacteria within and between communities, and the continued development of new antibacterial agents. ]

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