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Wanted: a new breeding ground for antibiotics

By Philip Ball   September 2010

It would be nice to be able to report that the much trumpeted “end of antibiotics” is just a slice of media alarmism. But it isn’t. The danger that just about all our existing antibiotics will soon be powerless against resistant bacteria, as recently claimed in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, is all too real. A paper in that journal reports the emergence and spread of strains of common pathogens, such as E coli and the pneumonia bug K pneumoniae, containing a gene that confers resistance even against current last-resort antibiotics called carbapenems. Such bacteria, Chris Walsh of Harvard Medical…

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