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Antibiotic Resistance

Since the discovery of penicillin by Sir Alexander Fleming in 1928, antibiotics have been used to treat bacterial infections. However, the liberal use of antibiotics has led to many drugs becoming ineffective. The ability of a microorganism to survive, despite antibiotic treatment, is known as antibiotic resistance. Bacteria use many forms of resistance to ensure survival, including both genetic and nongenetic changes.

The rapid increase in the amount of resistance is a problem in healthcare today. In the past, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections were only seen in hospitals or other institutional settings; however, patients now acquire infections in the community. This is cause for concern, because most MRSA infections cannot be treated with standard antibiotics and require treatment with a broad-spectrum antibiotic. There has ...

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