The biological cost of antibiotic resistance

Curr Opin Microbiol. 1999 Oct;2(5):489-93. doi: 10.1016/s1369-5274(99)00005-3.


The frequency and rates of ascent and dissemination of antibiotic resistance in bacterial populations are anticipated to be directly related to the volume of antibiotic use and inversely related to the cost that resistance imposes on the fitness of bacteria. The data available from recent laboratory studies suggest that most, but not all, resistance-determining mutations and accessory elements engender some fitness cost, but those costs are likely to be ameliorated by subsequent evolution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Bacteria / pathogenicity
  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial / genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Humans


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents