50 years ago, antibiotic resistance alarms went unheeded | Science News


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50 Years Ago

50 years ago, antibiotic resistance alarms went unheeded

Excerpt from the June 10, 1967, issue of Science News

9:00am, June 1, 2017

REVENGE OF THE GERMS Our love affair with antibiotics has come back to haunt us in the form of drug-resistant bacteria, such as these Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) cells (in yellow).

Bacteria ganging up on drugs

With the discovery of sulfa drugs and antibiotics came man’s confidence in his ability to control infectious diseases. But now, that confidence is being shaken by once defenseless germs that have learned to outwit man and thrive in the face of his wonder drugs.… One way to cut down on drug resistance transfer is to stop prescribing antibiotics almost indiscriminately, but that is not an altogether workable solution. — Science News, June 10, 1967


In 1945, Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin, warned that bacteria could become resistant to the wondrous antibiotic. Yet our love affair with antibiotics is still going strong — with

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