Principles of Antibiotic Resistance

  • Robert W. Finberg
  • Roy Guharoy


Because of their short dividing time (E. coli replicate approximately every 30 min) and their ability to accept DNA from other bacteria or phages, most bacteria are capable of becoming resistant to antibiotics very quickly. The history of antibacterial therapy is characterized by the fact that every time a new antibacterial agent is introduced, the organisms become resistant. The exception to this rule includes syphilis which has remained sensitive to penicillin for over 50 years since the introduction of this agent. N. gonorrhea and S. aureus, which became resistant within a few years after the introduction of penicillin, represent the more common response of bacteria to the introduction of an agent.


Antibacterial Agent Antibacterial Therapy Common Response Resistant Organism Immunocompromised Host 
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Further Reading

  1. Dellit, T. H., Owens, R. C., McGowan, J. E., Jr., Gerding, D. N., Weinstein, R. A., Burke, J. P., et al. (2007). Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America guidelines for developing an institutional program to enhance antimicrobial stewardship. Clin Infect Dis, 44(2), 159–177.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Shlaes, D. M., Gerding, D. N., John, J. F., Jr., Craig, W. A., Bornstein, D. L., Duncan, R. A., et al. (1997). Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and Infectious Diseases Society of America Joint Committee on the Prevention of Antimicrobial Resistance: guidelines for the prevention of antimicrobial resistance in hospitals. Clin Infect Dis, 25(3), 584–599.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA
  2. 2.UMass Memorial Health Care Clinical Professor of MedicineUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA

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