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Will the Nineties Be the Decade We Lost the Battle Against Drug-Resistant Microbes?


, : Will the Nineties Be the Decade We Lost the Battle Against Drug-Resistant Microbes?. American Journal of Therapeutics 1(3): 173-185

Antimicrobial resistance is reaching epidemic proportions. Bacteria have developed an impressive array of defenses to protect themselves against potent compounds. The widespread emergence of resistance has complicated the treatment of infections due to Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Enterococcus, Neisseria, Haemophilus, gram-negative enteric bacilli, and Pseudomonas. Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis poses a grave public health problem, particularly among the homeless and those infected with HIV. HIV resistance to nucleoside analogs such as zidovudine is increasingly common and seriously threatens their clinical usefulness. It is apparent that simply producing new drugs is not a viable solution to the resistance crisis. Rational use of existing antimicrobial agents is vital, and combination regimens must be intelligently deployed. State-of-the-art molecular epidemiology will aid in the detection, analysis, and termination of resistance epidemics. Control of drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis will require appropriate initial treatment regimens, proper therapeutic modification using the latest susceptibility testing methods, and strong emphasis on measures ensuring compliance. HIV resistance is a challenging problem, and novel strategies will be necessary to combat it. Recognition that drug resistance among bacteria and viruses is a rapidly growing threat worldwide is an important first step toward finding effective long-term solutions.

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PMID: 11835084


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