Research NewsEvolution

Antibiotic Resistance: Road of No Return

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Science  24 Oct 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5338, pp. 575-576
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5338.575b

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ARNHEM, THE NETHERLANDS-- They are one of medicine's biggest headaches: bacteria that have evolved resistance to those former wonder drugs, antibiotics. A random survey last year of Escherichia coli bacteria collected from a day-care center in Atlanta has indicated that these troublesome microbes will remain resistant long after doctors stop prescribing the drugs. Experiments suggest the reason: a second mutation that blocks the resistant bacteria from reverting to sensitivity.