Submitted to: Feedinfo News Service
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/20/2004
Publication Date: 10/22/2004
Citation: Stanton, T.B. 2004. The persistence of antimicrobial resistance. Feedinfo News Service. Available: http://www.feedinfo.com. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: In less than a human lifetime or 37,000 intestinal bacterial lifetimes (i.e., 50 years), we have witnessed the ascent of resistant bacteria, selected by antibiotic use in humans, animals, and plants. We have also discovered many (although not all) mechanisms of resistance. It turns out, however, that our focus has been only on the tip of the resistance iceberg. Beneath the surface, the selective forces of evolution have been, more insidiously, fine-tuning and re-inventing resistance genes and forming bacterial pipelines through which those genes are spread. We need new approaches to controlling unwanted bacteria, including new antimicrobials. We need confidence that the new products or strategies do not promote resistance or encourage cross-resistance to other antibiotics. Finally, to extend the useful lifetime of these new therapeutics, we need to identify and modify the factors and practices that lead to the spread and maintenance of antibiotic resistance traits.