The law of unintended consequences and antibiotics


Antibiotic therapy has been of unquestionable value in terms of saving lives and reducing suffering caused by infectious diseases. However, the widespread and indiscriminant use of antibiotics has not been without significant consequences. Some of these consequences include increased antibiotic resistance in pathogenic strains of bacteria. In addition, the indiscriminate use of antibiotics has recently been shown to alter the host microbiota and this has been associated with chronic disease. However, abandoning the use of antibiotics would be unthinkable. We have been exploring a strategy of modulating the host tolerance/resistance mechanisms as a means to ablate infection. We postulate that the obvious advantage of this therapeutic strategy is that, by targeting host tolerance/resistance mechanisms, the selective pressure for the expression of pathogen resistance is greatly reduced or altogether absent.

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Thacker, J. and Artlett, C. (2012) The law of unintended consequences and antibiotics. Open Journal of Immunology, 2, 59-64. doi: 10.4236/oji.2012.22007.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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