Last week, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies released the workshop summary from its Forum on Microbial Threats.  The summary, entitled “Antibiotic Resistance: Implications for Global Health and Novel Intervention Strategies is now available online.

In its summary, the Institute concluded, “For decades it seemed as if modern medicine had conquered many of the infectious diseases that once threatened human and animal health. But years of using, misusing, and overusing antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs have led to the emergence of multidrug-resistant ‘superbugs.’  Some strains of bacteria and viruses are now resistant to all but a single drug, while others have no effective treatments at all.”

The workshop summaries are from IOM’s Forum on Microbial Threats, held in April 2010.  The forum’s goal was to discuss the nature and sources of drug-resistant bacteria and viruses as well as their implications for global health.

During the forum, speakers and participants explored the evolutionary, genetic, and ecological origins of antimicrobial drug resistance as well as its effects on human and animal health worldwide.

In addition, forum participants also discussed the causes of drug resistance; strategies for extending the life of antimicrobial drugs; alternative approaches for treating infections; incentives and disincentives for prudent antimicrobial drug use; and prospects for the next generation of antimicrobial treatments.

An online copy of the publication can be found on The National Academies Press website.