Antibiotics are one of the most significant advancements of modern medicine. They have changed the prognosis of several bacterial infections, and made possible advanced medical practices associated with a high risk of infectious complications. Unfortunately, antibiotics are affected by the phenomenon of antibiotic resistance, which jeopardizes their efficacy. In recent years, antibiotic discovery and development has been lagging, due to a lower appeal of this sector for the pharmaceutical industry, while antibiotic resistance has continued to evolve with the eventual emergence and dissemination of bacterial strains which are resistant to most available antibiotics and pose a major challenge to antimicrobial chemotherapy. This worrisome scenario, indicated as the “antibiotic resistance crisis”, has been acknowledged by Scientific Societies and Public Health Agencies, and is now gathering an increasing attention from the Media and Governments. This article reviews the antibiotic-resistant pathogens which currently pose major problems in terms of clinical and epidemiological impact, and briefly discuss future perspective in this field.
Antibiotics; antibiotic resistance; multidrug resistance