Overview of Bacterial Resistance

The use of antimicrobials, appropriate or not, encourages the development of resistance in bacterial strains. In recent decades, bacteria have demonstrated their almost limitless ability to adapt to different circumstances, specifically to the ecological pressure caused by different antimicrobial agents. In the early 1900s, ethylhy-drocupreine (optochin) was examined as treatment of pneumococcal pneumonia. Unfortunately, the trial of optochin was terminated because of drug toxicity, and the emergence of resistance to the drug during therapy was also noted (Moore and Chesney, 1917). This appears to have been the first documentation of the emergence of resistance to an antimicrobial agent in humans. It was the clinical deployment of penicillin, however, that initially brought home the importance of the emergence

Table 1.1 NCCLS Breakpoint definitions of susceptibility and resistance for pneumococcal pneumonia per year (NCCLS)

NCCLS (1999) NCCLS (2000) NCCLS (2002)

Table 1.1 NCCLS Breakpoint definitions of susceptibility and resistance for pneumococcal pneumonia per year (NCCLS)

NCCLS (1999) NCCLS (2000) NCCLS (2002)

Antibiotic

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