Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2010 Sep;74(3):417-33. doi: 10.1128/MMBR.00016-10.

Origins and evolution of antibiotic resistance.

Author information

  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Life Sciences Institute, University of British Columbia, 2350 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z3, Canada.


Antibiotics have always been considered one of the wonder discoveries of the 20th century. This is true, but the real wonder is the rise of antibiotic resistance in hospitals, communities, and the environment concomitant with their use. The extraordinary genetic capacities of microbes have benefitted from man's overuse of antibiotics to exploit every source of resistance genes and every means of horizontal gene transmission to develop multiple mechanisms of resistance for each and every antibiotic introduced into practice clinically, agriculturally, or otherwise. This review presents the salient aspects of antibiotic resistance development over the past half-century, with the oft-restated conclusion that it is time to act. To achieve complete restitution of therapeutic applications of antibiotics, there is a need for more information on the role of environmental microbiomes in the rise of antibiotic resistance. In particular, creative approaches to the discovery of novel antibiotics and their expedited and controlled introduction to therapy are obligatory.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk