The continuing crisis in antibiotic resistance

Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2010 Nov;36 Suppl 3:S3-7. doi: 10.1016/S0924-8579(10)70003-0.

Abstract

The emergence of antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens is an inevitable consequence of antibiotic use. Despite repeated warnings, negligent antibiotic use and poor infection-control practice have led to the continuing development of extensive resistance problems worldwide. Multidrug-resistant pathogens are now characterized by their heterogeneity, increasing virulence, resistance even to reserve agents and spread within and between hospitals and the community. Examples are glycopeptide-resistant meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and enterococci, extended-spectrum β-lactamase- and carbapenemase-producing coliforms, and toxin-hyperproducing Clostridium difficile. Effective national and international programmes of control to combat these problems are urgently needed. The potential for success of such coordinated efforts has been demonstrated by the recent dramatic reductions in MRSA and C. difficile infections in England.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacterial Infections / epidemiology
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology*
  • Clostridium difficile / drug effects*
  • Clostridium difficile / isolation & purification
  • Cross Infection / microbiology
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial*
  • Drug Utilization / standards
  • Drug Utilization / trends
  • England
  • Enterococcus / drug effects*
  • Enterococcus / isolation & purification
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects*
  • Escherichia coli / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification
  • Prevalence

Substances

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents