Soon after penicillin was introduced into clinical use, an enzyme (penicillinase) that inactivated it was discovered. Since then, the variety of antimicrobial agents has increased substantially, along with a parallel increase in resistant pathogenic microorganisms. Resistance is now recognized against all available antimicrobial agents. Factors influencing the emergence of resistance include indiscriminate use of antibiotics, prolonged hospitalizations, increasing numbers of immunocompromised patients, and medical progress resulting in increased use of invasive procedures and devices. This article provides an update on clinical aspects of a few commonly found resistant microorganisms relevant to day-to-day clinical practice. A discussion of all resistant organisms is beyond the scope of this report. Both viral and mycobacterial resistance have been addressed in previous articles in this symposium.
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