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Product title :

Antimicrobial resistance: a complex issue

Author(s) : J.F. Acar & G. Moulin

Summary :

The discovery of antibiotics represented a turning point in human history. However, by the late 1950s infections that were difficult to treat, involving resistant bacteria, were being reported. Nowadays, multiresistant strains have become a major concern for public and animal health. Antimicrobial resistance is a complex issue, linked to the ability of bacteria to adapt quickly to their environment. Antibiotics, and antimicrobial-resistant bacteria and determinants, existed before the discovery and use of antibiotics by humans. Resistance to antimicrobial agents is a tool that allows bacteria to survive in the environment, and to develop. Resistance genes can be transferred between bacteria by horizontal transfer involving three mechanisms: conjugation, transduction and transformation. Resistant bacteria can emerge in any location when the appropriate conditions develop. Antibiotics represent a powerful selector for antimicrobial resistance in bacteria. Reducing the use of antimicrobial drugs is one way to control antimicrobial resistance; however, a full set of measures needs to be implemented to achieve this aim.
 
Keywords
Antimicrobial determinant – Antimicrobial resistance – Complexity – Dissemination – Resistance gene – Superbug.

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