Reemerging infections and drug-resistant microbes are topics that are capturing considerable attention among microbiologists these days. And evidence of their interest is by no means confined to such microbiology journals as the Journal of Virology or the Journal of Clinical Microbiology. Indeed, these topics dominated the entire August 21 issue of Science magazine last year.

Writing in that issue, for example, was Harold Neu, a medical pharmacologist at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons. Neu tells The Scientist that physicians in the United States have a tendency to throw antibiotics at too many illnesses. "I think it's going to be almost impossible to totally end this," he says. "What will happen is we'll breed many antibiotic-resistant microorganims." And unless the pharmaceutical industry keeps ahead of this trend, he warns, "there will be a lot of problems for the future."

In the Science article (257:1064, 1992), Neu pointed out...

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