The future of antibiotics and resistance: a tribute to a career of leadership by John Bartlett

Clin Infect Dis. 2014 Sep 15;59 Suppl 2(Suppl 2):S71-5. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciu392.


The ways we have developed, used, and protected antibiotics have led, predictably, to our current crisis of rising antibiotic resistance and declining new treatments. If we want to stave off a postantibiotic era, we need to fundamentally change our approach. We need to challenge long-standing assumptions and cherished beliefs. We need to push through the reflexive resistance and excuses (eg, "that's not how we do things" and "that can't be done") that result from challenging established ways. Excuses abound. Action is needed. Ultimately, we need a coordinated national action plan to combat resistance. Herein we discuss 7 tasks and 3 common themes that cut across those tasks, which are necessary to achieve long-term success in dealing with antibiotics and resistance. These principles derive from many years of dialogue with Dr John Bartlett. The field of infectious diseases, and indeed medicine in general, has benefited immeasurably from his remarkable leadership.

Keywords: antibiotics; future; policies; resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial*
  • Drug Utilization
  • Humans
  • Veterinary Drugs / pharmacology
  • Veterinary Drugs / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Veterinary Drugs