The Future of Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance

Associate Professor of Medicine, Associate Medical Director for Inpatient Services, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, United States


Society is facing two converging public health crises: inexorably rising antibiotic resistance combined with a collapse of the antibiotic research and development pipeline. To successfully confront these crises and develop countermeasures that have lasting effects, we must come to grips with their fundamental causes. A fallacy of human egocentrism is the notion that we invented antibiotics and that we cause antibiotic resistance to occur. There are partial truths to this fallacy, but the consequence of our incomplete recognition of the origins of antibiotics and resistance is that we have been led astray in our efforts to combat resistance and develop new ways to treat infections.