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Int J Toxicol. 2003 Mar-Apr;22(2):129-30.

Antibiotic resistance: who is winning the war? Introductory remarks.

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US Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Division of Anti-Infective Drug Products, Maryland 20850, USA.


The evolutionary response of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites to the selective pressure exerted by antimicrobial agents is the emergence of populations that resist the action of the antimicrobial. The emergence and dissemination of such resistance in a variety of these pathogens is a growing public health concern. In response, the scientific community developed an action plan to address this public health issue. Antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral drug development for the treatment of diseases caused by resistant pathogens is one component of this strategy. In addition, due to the targeting of specific drugs against resistant pathogens, we may more readily accept a given drugs toxicity profile for the added therapeutic benefit. This symposium provides a discussion of the modes of action and mechanisms of resistance to antimicrobial agents, and the use of surveillance systems to help understand the nature and magnitude of resistance. The goal is to help guide antimicrobial drug product development and use. Specific toxicity issues are presented that should be considered in phase 1 development of antimicrobial drug products for use in clinical medicine and veterinary medicine. Finally, the national and global strategies developed by federal agencies in the Public Health Action Plan to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance are outlined.

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