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Drug-Resistant Bacteria Made Drug-Susceptible by Enzyme Inhibitors

John K. Lattimer, M.D.; Harry Seneca, M.D.; Hans H. Zinsser, M.D.; J. T. Donovan, M.D.
JAMA. 1961;178(7):764-766. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.73040460034017c.
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MEDICAL science may gradually be losing the battle against bacterial drug resistance. New drugs are not being discovered and developed quite fast enough to keep ahead of the ability of certain bacteria to develop resistant mutants. Thus, uncontrollable lethal epidemics might develop if we continue on our present course.

Against this background, it seems justified to offer this preliminary report on some work being done by our laboratory for the study of resistant genitourinary infections, the most important finding of which is the fact that drug-resistant bacteria can be made drug-susceptible, in many cases, through the action of enzyme inhibitors.

It should also be noted that if these same drugs are used on bacteria which are drug-sensitive, the bacteria may become drug-resistant. As a consequence, some enzyme inhibitors should not be used alone, except on resistant bacteria. Drug-susceptible bacteria should be treated with the appropriate conventional antibacterial drugs to which


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