Antibiotic Resistance: Present State and Prospects

  • Wolfgang Piepersberg
Part of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies Symposium Series book series (FEMS, volume 55)


The current state of antibiotic research is characterized by contradictory movements, such as decreasing interest of industrial companies in R&D efforts on classical antibiotic screening and further derivatisation of known substances versus increasing interest in new applications and new means of production (e.g. hybrid antibiotics or biotransformations), or booming academical interest in basic research on genetics and regulation of antibiotic biosynthesis and resistance versus slow-down of so-called “defense-research” of companies marketing major antibiotic groups. In this context it is interesting to note that recent progress on our understanding of the mechanisms, evolution and distributing genetic forces of antibiotic resistance is enormous, as is manifested in several reviews and books (Davies and Smith, 1978; Foster, 1983; Piepersberg et al., 1988; Cundliffe, 1989; Wiedemann et al., 1986; Levy and Novick, 1986) and that, in contrast, our knowledge on the interplay between antibiotic action, resistance development and regulation of antibiotic production is very poor. Our current view on the scenery might change considerably, whenever we know more about the origin and function of antibiotics (also “secondary metabolites” or “natural products”) in nature (Zähner et al., 1982; Hütter, 1986; Williams et al., 1989; Davies, 1990; Piepersberg et al., 1988 and this volume).


Resistance Mechanism Glutamine Synthetase Aminoglycoside Antibiotic Resistance Determinant Macrocyclic Lactone 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wolfgang Piepersberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Chemische MikrobiologieBergische Universität GH WuppertalWuppertal 1Germany

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