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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2004 Oct;7(5):439-44.

Microbiology and drug resistance mechanisms of fully resistant pathogens.

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  • 1Medical Microbiology, School of Biomedical and Clinical laboratory Sciences, Medical School, University of Edinburgh, Teviot Place, Edinburgh EH8 9AG, Scotland, UK.


The acquisition of vancomycin resistance by Gram-positive bacteria and carbapenem resistance by Gram-negative bacteria has rendered some hospital-acquired pathogens impossible to treat. The resistance mechanisms employed are sophisticated and very difficult to overcome. Unless alternative treatment regimes are initiated soon, our inability to treat totally resistant bacteria will halt other developments in medicine. In the community, Gram-positive bacteria responsible for pneumonia could become totally resistant leading to increased mortality from this common infection, which would have a more immediate impact on our current lifestyles.

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