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Do We Need to Put Society First? The Potential for Tragedy in Antimicrobial Resistance

  • Kevin R Foster mail,

    To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: krfoster@rice.edu

    Affiliation: Kevin R. Foster and Hajo Grundmann wrote this article while at Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Institute for Advanced Study), Berlin, Germany. Kevin R. Foster is now at the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland, and Hajo Grundmann is also at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands, and the Department of Microbiology, University Medical Center, Groningen, The Netherlands.

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  • Hajo Grundmann

    Affiliation: Kevin R. Foster and Hajo Grundmann wrote this article while at Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Institute for Advanced Study), Berlin, Germany. Kevin R. Foster is now at the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland, and Hajo Grundmann is also at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands, and the Department of Microbiology, University Medical Center, Groningen, The Netherlands.

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  • Published: January 10, 2006
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0030029

Reader Comments (2)

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Posted by plosmedicine on 30 Mar 2009 at 23:51 GMT

Author: 'Mark' 'Johnson'
Position: Planner
E-mail: johnson0m@yahoo.com
Submitted Date: March 18, 2006
Published Date: April 3, 2006
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

I suggest the authors of this article should volunteer to remove themselves and their families from antibiotic use for any ailments they may suffer in the future. They can show the rest of us the way to antibiotic underuse.

It is astonishing that anyone would suggest deliberate withholding of a needed medicine before any steps are taken to stop the overuse in agriculture. Pigs and chickens can get it, but people can't? Spray it on orchards, but refuse sick humans? And it is my understanding that a lot of the resistance problem comes out of hospitals. That is where solutions should start.

It isn't hard to imagine what kind of inequities will be introduced when medical people begin to decide who will or won't get an antibiotic for a bacterial infection.

No competing interests declared.