Even since the introduction of antibiotics, bacterial resistance has been an issue. Resistance now severely threatens the future use of antibiotics in hospitals. We could be facing the end of antimicrobial era.
The beneficial impact that antimicrobial drugs had on our standard of living is difficult to overstate. The discovery and implementation of antibiotics has prevented many deaths, transformed medical practice, and provided new tools to public health for communicable disease control. Today, these gains are at risk of being reversed, owing to natural selection for resistant bacteria. Our ability to control microbial disease is diminishing over time, the incidence of antibiotic resistant infections is in the rise, while the rate of discovery of new antibiotics is slowing.
Over years, human pathogens have acquired the genetic capacity to survive antibiotic treatment owing to heavy selective pressures resulting from widespread antibiotic use. In addition to the development of resistance, the use of antibiotics heavily disrupts the ecology of the human microbiome (i.e., the collection of cells, genes, and metabolites from the bacteria, eukaryotes, and viruses that inhabit the human body).
With few immediate prospects of new antibiotic classes, investigators should focus attention on preserving the value of antibiotics currently in use through active surveillance and antimicrobial stewardship. The results of ecological studies have shown that the overuse of antibiotics at the population level leads to resistance.
I hope that this book will help in understanding the current situation regarding resistance and motivate readers to prudent use of antimicrobials, introducing antimicrobial stewardhip programs in their communities, guidelines for animicrobial prescribing etc.