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Am J Med Sci. 1996 Jan;311(1):9-16.

Reasons for the emergence of antibiotic resistance.

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Nosocomial Pathogens Laboratory Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.


The ability of many different species of bacteria, including those that cause diseases in humans, to resist the inhibitory action of antimicrobial agents has become a global problem. Resistance continues to spread not only in nosocomial pathogens but in several key community-acquired organisms as well. Appropriate control measures for such resistant organisms depend in part on the pathways by which resistance has arisen. Unfortunately, these pathways differ greatly from organism to organism and setting to setting. In addition, although the epidemiology of resistant organisms sometimes is similar to that of susceptible organisms of the same kind, in some situations it may be quite different. In this article, the authors highlight some of the pathways leading to the development of resistance in bacteria, the importance of antimicrobial use, and the relevance of these mechanisms to measures for the control of resistant bacteria in hospital and community settings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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