Submitted to: National Academy of Medicine Perspectives
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/12/2017
Publication Date: 7/31/2017
Citation: Allen, H.K. 2017. Alternatives to antibiotics: why and how. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Medicine Perspectives. Institute of Medicine's Food Forum Meeting, April 27, 2016, Washington, DC. Available: https://nam.edu/alternatives-to-antibiotics-why-and-how.
Technical Abstract: The antibiotic resistance problem is the mobilization of genes that confer resistance to medically important antibiotics into human pathogens. The acquisition of such resistance genes by pathogens prevents disease treatment, increases health care costs, and increases morbidity and mortality. As antibiotic resistance continues to evolve, antibiotics of so-called last resort become even more precious. Reducing or preventing the dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes into human pathogens is currently of high international importance. One way to reduce the selection for antibiotic resistance genes is to reduce the use of antibiotics. However, antibiotics are critical to disease treatment and prevention, and so alternatives to antibiotics are urgently needed. Here, a variety of potential alternatives to antibiotics are briefly discussed.