Items in AFP with MESH term: Bacteria
ABSTRACT: Since the introduction of antimicrobial agents, there has been an association between antibiotic use and the development of antimicrobial resistance. Antibiotic therapy eradicates not only pathogenic organisms but also the protective normal flora. This so-called "selective pressure" results in colonization with bacteria that are resistant to the original therapy. The result has been an increase over the past two decades in antibiotic resistance among common bacterial causes of outpatient infections. Several studies have demonstrated that a substantial portion of the antibiotics prescribed in the outpatient setting are given for viral illnesses or bacterial diseases where the benefit of antibacterial therapy is marginal. The reasons for prescribing antibiotics in these situations are related to medical and social factors. Physicians should be familiar with the clinical situations in which they should provide antibiotics and those in which they may safely be withheld. Physicians should understand the motivations of patients who are seeking antibiotics and provide education, empathy and alternative treatments.