Article Text

Antibiotic resistance: an overview
  1. JR Walton
  1. Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool, Leahurst, Neston, Wirral, Merseyside.

Abstract

The results of large scale surveys have indicated that in general terms antibiotic resistance in bacteria has not increased, especially in Europe and North America. When the prevalence of resistance in specific bacteria has increased the increase has usually been associated with the introduction of a novel antimicrobial agent, whether in human or veterinary clinical practice, but the prevalence of resistance that is recognised may be very small. It would appear that the use of antibiotics in livestock farming during the past 20 years has not compromised public health. Any problems in human medicine which are due to bacterial resistance have resulted from the use of antibiotics in man and not from their use in agriculture. Similarly, any problems in veterinary medicine which are due to bacterial resistance have resulted from the use of antibiotics in animals and not from their use in man.

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