The rise and fall of antimicrobial resistance

Trends Microbiol. 2001 Sep;9(9):438-44. doi: 10.1016/s0966-842x(01)02130-8.


Antimicrobial resistance is a growing problem in nearly every infectious disease, but the extent and rate of increase of the problem varies widely with different pathogen-drug combinations. The rate of increase of resistance depends primarily on the availability of resistant variants and the intensity of selection imposed by antimicrobial treatment (appropriately measured). Declines in resistance following antimicrobial control measures are typically faster in hospital-acquired infections than in community-acquired ones, probably owing to the dependence in the latter case on the fitness cost of resistance. Open questions and approaches for testing the hypotheses proposed here are outlined.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial*
  • Drug Resistance, Viral
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Tuberculosis / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis / microbiology
  • Viruses / drug effects*