Antiobiotic resistance

Bob Morrell bmorrell at ISNET.IS.WFU.EDU
Fri Jan 13 20:13:42 EST 1995

On 12 Jan 1995 debbie_steinberg at wrote:
> some of the comments generated by the concerns over how penicillin resistance 
> developed in S. pyogenes:

Careful! This is how rumors get started. No one has said they believe 
strep pyogenes has developed pen resistance, indee, I wondered why it 
alone had not, a thread no on chose to pick up.

> The threat of disease from 
> resistant organisms is chomping at our heels and we will be outpaced  in
> the not too distant future.

As noted I think this is overstating the case. Another angle on this 
overstatement was brought to my attention this week. One reason we are 
seeing more of the MDR organisms is not their prevelance but the increase 
in susceptible hosts. Remember that being resistant to antibiotics 
generally is a drain on the bacteria, so the resistant organisms, such as 
VRE show up more often in immunocomprimised hosts, of which there are 
more these days. 

> More importantly, this threat  is not limited to bacteria 
> but includes viral and fungal infections as well.

This is not a change for the worse, since we have always had these 
infections and recently gained several new weapons. In this area we 
certainly cannot consider our lead shorter...
> the last 20 years-travel is easy, can be inexpensive, and an infectious agent 
> can be transmitted across several continents by a single carrier. Physians may 
> be slow to recognize the disease because it is not indigenous totheir areas and 
> as a result, it continues to spread unchecked. It's not just a movie of the week 

I am surprised to see the 20 year figure here, since this kind of travel 
has been going on for 50, and certainly this kind of risk is not new 
to modern times.

*                     Bob Morrell                       *
*              bmorrell at                *
* The operation was a success, as the autopsy will show *

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