The Discovery Of Antimicrobial Agents

2921 Words12 Pages
Abstract The discovery of antimicrobial agents for the treatment of infectious diseases has been heralded as one of the greatest medical achievements of the 20th century. However, use, misuse, and abuse of antimicrobial agents has led to an increase in the population of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria and has become a major public health threat the world over. Unfortunately the pace of developing new treatments has not kept pace with the growing problem, leading to increased mortality and morbidity rates. Only through education programs and development of new classes of treatment can this epidemic hoped to be controlled. The proliferation of antibiotic resistance is a continuing problem for all members of the human race and only with concerted efforts of all can the continued efficacy of antibiotics be preserved. Introduction The dawn of the antibiotic era began in 1920’s with the discovery of Penicillin by Andrew Fleming. Since that time countless millions of people have survived ailments that by modern medical practice would be considered trivial. Point-in-fact 90% of all children suffering from meningitis died before the implementation of antibiotics. Of the children who survived, many suffered from debilitating conditions such as deafness or even mental retardation. Today if meningitis is diagnosed early enough the death rate is closer to 10%. (NIAID, 2014) Infections such as strep throat were often fatal and even ear infections could spread to the brain
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