NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Germs Fight Off More Antibiotics

December 28, 2000

A report in the New England Journal of Medicine adds another to the list of germs which have become resistant to antibiotics: Streptococcus pneumonia, the nation's most common bacterial cause of meningitis, children's ear infections and pneumonia. The problem is of increasing concern to doctors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Between 1995 and 1998, the percentage of Streptococcus pneumonia resistant to three or more classes of antibiotics grew from 9 percent to 14 percent.
  • The bacteria resistant to penicillin rose from 21 percent to 25 percent.

Resistance was particularly high in children under five and in whites, two groups generally getting more antibiotics than others.

Source: Richard P. Wenzel and Michael B. Edmond, "Managing Antibiotic Resistance," editorial, New England Journal of Medicine, December 28, 2000;Michelle Healy, "Antibiotic Resistance Rising, Study Says," USA Today, December 28, 2000.


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