The introduction of antibiotics into clinical medicine in the 1930s and 1940s appeared to be a global health triumph that would last seemingly forever. However, that hasn’t been the simple, magnificent outcome. Antibiotics remain a critical tool in the fight against disease and infection. Countless lives have been and continue to be saved and bettered through their use. But their edge, unfortunately, has been blunted by misuse, questionable overuse and undeniable abuse as scores of antibiotic-resistant bacteria have emerged during the past several decades. The CDC estimates that each year at least 2 million people in the United States become infected with bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Understanding how this happens and developing strategies to limit the growing resistance to antibiotics has become an urgent global necessity. Antibiotic resistance can be linked to several factors. It is important that we learn what is driving the resistance, and the answers aren’t simple. Overuse clearly has been an issue. But disinfectants, cleaning chemicals and pollution are a few other contributors to the resistance.  In this entry we will explore some of the articles and studies that delve into the multiple contributors to antibiotic resistance and the strategies to limit the growing problem. We casually address this pressing issue at our own peril. The time is overdue that we get smart about antimicrobial resistance and develop the needed multi-pronged approaches to control the outcomes.

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Disinfectants are contributing to antibiotic resistance.

Air and soil pollution and the general introduction of pollutants into our environment also have had a profound impact on antimicrobial resistance, research tells us.