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Antimicrobial chemotherapy 

Antimicrobial chemotherapy
Chapter:
Antimicrobial chemotherapy
Author(s):

Maha Albur

, Alasdair MacGowan

, and Roger G. Finch

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0073
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date: 28 February 2021

The practice of medicine changed dramatically with the availability of effective antimicrobial agents. Often fatal diseases, such as infective endocarditis, became treatable; much minor community infectious morbidity became readily controlled; for example, urinary tract infection; many surgical procedures became much safer, and developments in solid organ and bone marrow transplantation became possible. However, the very success of antimicrobial chemotherapy has led to anti-infective overuse and misuse. In some countries, antibiotics are freely available to the public for purchase ‘over the counter’, with few controls or guidance to ensure their safe and effective use. In many others there are poorly developed antimicrobial stewardship programmes. The emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance worldwide and the decline in development and licensing of new antimicrobials over the last 30 years has threatened the future successful treatment of bacterial infections.

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