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Clin Exp Optom. 2007 Jul;90(4):258-62.

Resistance to ocular antibiotics: an overview.

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1
School of Biomedical Sciences, the University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia. l.brown@uq.edu.au

Abstract

The introduction of new antibiotic compounds into therapy initiates the development of resistance by the target bacteria. Resistance increases the risk of treatment failure with potentially serious consequences. Local application of antibacterial compounds to the eyes may lead to bacterial resistance in bacterial isolates from the eyes. The incidence of resistant strains of common pathogens is probably increasing. As compounds can be absorbed into the systemic circulation following ocular administration, the subsequent low concentrations in the blood could provide the selective pressure for the survival of resistant bacteria in the body. Despite this possibility, there are no reports of systemic resistance in bacteria following ocular administration of antibacterial compounds. All health-care professionals should be concerned about this possibility and continue to use these important compounds with respect.

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