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February 7, 1996

New Approaches to the Control of Infections Caused by Antibiotic-Resistant BacteriaAn Industry Perspective

Author Affiliations

From SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals Research & Development, Betchworth, United Kingdom (Dr Chopra); Epsom, United Kingdom (Mr Hodgson); and Upper Merion, Pa (Drs Metcalf and Poste). Dr Chopra is no longer with SmithKline Beecham.

JAMA. 1996;275(5):401-403. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530290071040

The Emergence of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria and Its Consequences  One of the most remarkable accomplishments of this century has been the successful development of antibiotics for the chemotherapy of bacterial infections.1 These agents have produced impressive reductions in the morbidity and mortality imposed by microbial pathogens. Unfortunately, the increasing widespread emergence of acquired resistance to antibiotics over the last 40 years now constitutes a serious threat to global public health1-3 and is a growing problem in both hospital-acquired (nosocomial) and community-acquired infections. The antibiotic resistance problem is exacerbated by the genetic exchange of resistance determinants among bacteria.1-3 In addition, demographic factors, such as population growth and urbanization, generate conditions that may facilitate the transmission of infections. New opportunities for interspecies traffic of new pathogens to human beings may occur as a consequence of human colonization in previously undisturbed rural ecosystems and accompanying perturbation in host-pathogen ecology.4 Bacterial