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Antibiotic Resistance—A World Health Problem We Cannot Ignore

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Ohio State University School of Medicine; Columbus, Ohio

Ann Intern Med. 1983;99(6):859-860. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-99-6-859
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Physicians are well aware of the problem of antimicrobial resistance. The combined order for a "culture and sensitivity" test implies a reasonable expectation that an organism may often be resistant to commonly used antimicrobial agents. The code words "cover" and "empiric" are used to anticipate the variety of organisms that may be responsible for an infection, as well as resistant strains among them. Each time an antimicrobial agent is used, however, there is a small but added effect on the ecology of the microbial world.

The collective decisions of thousands of physicians and farmers and millions of consumers involving over-the-counter


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