News of the WeekBIOTERRORISM

Researchers Question Obsession With Cipro

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Science  26 Oct 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5543, pp. 759-761
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5543.759

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In the aftermath of deadly bioterrorist attacks on U.S. soil, many people are suspected of hoarding, or even gulping, Cipro--the first line of defense against anthrax--and supplies at pharmacies are running out. Some have urged the government to break Bayer's patent on the drug. But some scientists argue that popping too much of the drug may create resistance in other pathogens. It might also tempt future bioterrorists to produce Cipro-resistant strains of Bacillus anthracis-- which a recent study by U.S. scientists shows is possible.