The discovery of different classes of antibiotic from the late 1940s onwards and their introduction into clinical use was a major breakthrough in the fight against bacterial infections. Their initial success was so dramatic that, in the 1960s, the US Surgeon General William H. Stewart is reputed to have declared that ‘it is time to close the book on infectious diseases’.1 Four decades later, and with the benefit of hindsight, it is evident that such optimism was entirely misplaced. The reality is that infectious disease remains the second most common cause of death worldwide,2 and in terms of bacterial infections, our failure to control these diseases is related in large part to the emergence of antibiotic resistance.
|Title of host publication||Environmental Medicine|
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2010|