Antibiotic and antiseptic resistance: impact on public health

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2000 Oct;19(10 Suppl):S120-2. doi: 10.1097/00006454-200010001-00008.


More and more we are moving patients from hospitals to homes for continued treatment. Vancomycin and triclosan were used for 30 years before any resistance emerged, because their applications were strictly limited. Today, after greatly increased use, resistance to both antibiotics and antibacterials has appeared. Of importance there are genetic links between resistance to antibiotics and to antibacterials. Health professionals and the public need to be educated about the rational use of drugs that affect the microbial world. The Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics, an international organization established in 1981 with members in more than 100 countries, has adopted education as its prime mission. Via its web site ( and linked information on reservoirs of antibiotic resistance (ROAR) among nonpathogenic bacteria, it reaches both providers and consumers. The message is simple: bacteria are needed for our survival. The vast majority of bacteria perform important functions that are crucial for our lives. Prudent use of both antibiotics and antibacterials must be championed to achieve and maintain the balanced microbial environment in which we have entered and evolved.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial*
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple*
  • Humans
  • Public Health*