News & CommentMicrobiology

New Hunt for the Roots of Resistance

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Science  03 Apr 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5360, pp. 27
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5360.27

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As bacteria worldwide acquire resistance to the drugs meant to kill them, public health experts have stepped up surveillance of antibiotic resistance in human pathogens. Now a grassroots network of scientists is taking aim at what they see as the root of the problem: resistance genes in harmless bacteria that live in humans, animals, plants, even soil and water. By keeping tabs on when and where specific antibiotic-resistance genes appear, the group hopes to predict--and one day help block--the spread of resistance.