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The Widespread Resistance to Antibiotics

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Date and time
Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"Dr. Stuart B. Levy is Distinguished Professor of Molecular Biology and Microbiology and of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine; Director of the Center for Adaptation Genetics and Drug Resistance; and President of the International Alliance for Prudent Use of Antibiotics. He is a past President of the American Society for Microbiology. In this recording, Dr. Levy discusses the crisis of widespread ineffectiveness of antibiotics that were originally considered miracle drugs. Dr. Levy was one of the first medical researchers to alert the international scientific community and the public about the dangerous consequences of the misuse and over-prescribing of antibiotics. Because bacteria are able to mutate rapidly to evade the effects of antibiotics, many bacterial diseases and infections now fail to respond to antibiotics. The threat extends to our food because livestock are given antibiotics to ensure rapid growth and weight gain. And because livestock waste from industrial farms penetrates soil and water, antibiotic residuals are pervasive in the environment. Dr. Levy led the first, and perhaps only, prospective farm study showing that feed containing low-dose antibiotics led to the emergence of antibiotic resistance in animals and people. He has published over 300 papers, edited four books and two special journal editions devoted to antibiotic use and resistance. His 1992 book, The Antibiotic Paradox: How Miracle Drugs Are Destroying the Miracle, now in its second edition, has been translated into four languages."

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