Articles

Epidemiology of Drug Resistance: Implications for a Post—Antimicrobial Era

Science  21 Aug 1992:
Vol. 257, Issue 5073, pp. 1050-1055
DOI: 10.1126/science.257.5073.1050

Abstract

In the last several years, the frequency and spectrum of antimicrobial-resistant infections have increased in both the hospital and the community. Certain infections that are essentially untreatable have begun to occur as epidemics both in the developing world and in institutional settings in the United States. The increasing frequency of drug resistance has been attributed to combinations of microbial characteristics, selective pressures of antimicrobial use, and societal and technologic changes that enhance the transmission of drug-resistant organisms. Antimicrobial resistance is resulting in increased morbidity, mortality, and health-care costs. Prevention and control of these infections will require new antimicrobial agents, prudent use of existing agents, new vaccines, and enhanced public health efforts to reduce transmission.

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