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Antibiotics: expect to use less, more responsibly

Scannell, J   Bruce, A

Veterinary Record   177 (7) 168-170

DOI: 10.1136/vr.h4275

August 2015

http://veterinaryrecord.bmj.com/content/177/7/168

Antibiotic resistance has probably been around for a few billion years. After all, most modern antibiotics have their origins in bacteria and fungi, organisms that have long waged pharmacological warfare against one another. It is possible, for example, to find multidrug-resistant bacteria deep within caves that have been isolated for millions of years. However, 65 years of widespread medical and veterinary antibiotic use has exerted strong evolutionary pressures on the populations of bacteria that human and veterinary health systems routinely encounter. Resistance has become more common and more troublesome; no longer a narrow technical problem for microbiologists and drug developers. In the past five years, antimicrobial drug resistance has climbed the political agenda, with initiatives underway at the European level, in the USA, the UK, Holland, Denmark, and many other countries.