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New book explains antibiotic resistance for a broad audience

Media coverage about "superbugs" that defy current treatments has increased the public's awareness of and fears surrounding the issue of antibiotic resistance. A new book from ASM Press, Revenge of the Microbes: How Bacterial Resistance is Undermining the Antibiotic Miracle, provides an in-depth overview of the subject in a reader-friendly, comprehensible style that will engage everyone from scientists to everyday citizens.

"Most people have a love-hate relationship with antibiotics. They love the fact that antibiotics work most of the time and work quickly with few side effects. They hate the fact that more and more physicians are refusing to prescribe antibiotics for flu and that patients are being blamed for demanding antibiotics when they shouldn't," says Abigail Salyers of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who co-authored the book with Dixie Whitt of the same university. "It was this ambivalence and confusion that motivated us to come out of our comfortable niche as writers of textbooks and attempt to write a book for the general public about antibiotics and resistance to them."

Revenge of the Microbes provides the scientific information readers will need to form opinions and make informed decisions regarding the use of antibiotics. The authors have carefully sifted through a vast amount of information to ensure comprehensive coverage of topics including the larger issues of economics, politics, health, safety, and the environment. Specific antibiotics and controversies are examined in a real-life context; accounts of positions on all sides of the public policy debate are presented; and less common issues such as what happens to antibiotics once they are released into the environment, are addressed.

"Every other book on antibiotics and antibiotic resistance that has stressed the scientific aspects of the topic has had scientists with advanced degrees as its audience. We wanted to reach a wider audience, but we didn't want to exclude scientists, especially those who work in areas in which information about antibiotics might not have been part of their training," says Salyers.

Revenge of the Microbes has a list price of $29.95 and can be ordered online at:


Source:American Society for Microbiology

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