Continuing Medical Education

Role of antibiotic stewardship in extending the age of modern medicine

M Mendelson


Antibiotic resistance is threatening modern medicine. Overuse and misuse of antibiotics is driving resistance to such an extent that we have entered the
post-antibiotic era, where some multidrug- and pandrug-resistant bacterial infections are no longer treatable. If the situation is not reversed,
10 million people will die annually of drug-resistant infections by 2050. More than just a question of mortality, such infections are causing the
closure of wards, cancellation of operations, and interference with other common medical procedures that rely on antibiotics for their success. The
response to this crisis requires co-ordinated international action with increased surveillance of bacterial resistance, infection prevention, and antibiotic
stewardship, i.e. access to affordable, quality-assured antibiotics prescribed appropriately. This review describes antibiotic stewardship at the individual
patient and programmatic level, which must be adopted by every prescriber if we are to preserve modern medicine for future generations.

Author's affiliations

M Mendelson, Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Groote Schuur Hospital and University of Cape Town, South Africa

Full Text

PDF (277KB)


Antibiotic stewardship; HIV

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2015;105(5):414-418. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.9635

Article History

Date submitted: 2015-03-23
Date published: 2015-05-27

Article Views

Abstract views: 3122
Full text views: 1670

Comments on this article

*Read our policy for posting comments here