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Biochem Pharmacol. 2006 Mar 30;71(7):893-900. Epub 2006 Feb 7.

Commensals upon us.

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Paratek Pharmaceuticals Inc., Boston, MA 02111, USA.


A battle to control and curtail bacterial infectious diseases is being waged in our hospitals and communities through antibiotic therapies and vaccines targeting specific species. But what effects do these interventions have on the epidemiology of infections caused by the organisms that are part of our natural microbial flora? Gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria appear as new disease agents from among commensal flora. These include vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE), community-associated methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA), non-vaccine invasive serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae, new strains of non-type b Haemophilus influenzae and multi-drug resistant Escherichia coli. These examples illustrate how clinical improvements and widespread use and misuse of antibiotics have pushed evolution, allowing normally non-pathogenic strains to become infectious disease threats to human health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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