Disease-causing microbes that have become resistant to drug therapy are an increasing public health problem. Tuberculosis, gonorrhea, malaria, and childhood ear infections are just a few of the diseases that have become hard to treat with antibiotic drugs. Part of the problem is that bacteria and other microorganisms that cause infections are remarkably resilient and can develop ways to survive drugs meant to kill or weaken them. This antibiotic resistance is due largely to the increasing use of antibiotics. Smart use of antibiotics is the key to controlling the spread of resistance. It is important to understand that, although they are very useful drugs, antibiotics designed for bacterial infections are not useful for viral infections such as cold, cough, or flu.
Who is at Risk?
Antibiotic resistance can cause significant danger and suffering for children and adults who have common infections, once easily treatable with antibiotics.
Sources: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Recent Antibiotic Resistance Research and News at The Scripps Research Institute