Good overview of antibiotics and resistance,
This review is from: Revenge of the Microbes: How Bacterial Resistance is Undermining the Antibiotic Miracle (Paperback)
When antibiotics first came on the market in the 1940s, the general idea was that this was the end of infectious diseases. Unfortunately this has proven to be a false assumption. The fight against infectious diseases is a true arms race: every time mankind invents a drug, the pathogens find mechanisms to circumvent the action of the drug and to survive in a hostile environment. This book describes the various (kinds of) antibiotics, their modes of action and also the modes of resistance that are used by microbes to counteract the antibiotics. It also shows that a lot of resistance is actually due to human complacency, misuse and abuse of antibiotics: widespread use of antibiotics as growth promotors in the meat industry has led to resistance, description of antibiotics for viral infections (for which they do not work) has led to resistance, underprescription has led to resistance. All in all a rather grim picture which I know to be only too true.
Luckily Salyers and Whitt describe all these disasters using a very palatable, light style of writing. Maybe the book does not contain too much new information for biomedical scientists like myself, it certainly contains a lot of eye-opening information for interested members of the general public and even for doctors and vets, who I have often found to have only a limited comprehension of antibiotics.
(1 customer review)