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Confused or worried about antibiotics? This Harvard infectious disease expert has some answers



Should you use antibiotics? What's antibiotic resistance? Can the medication really interfere with the gut and other systems of the body?

If you have questions about antibiotics, you're not alone – and Mary E. Wilson, a Harvard University professor and infectious disease expert, probably answers those questions in Antibiotics: What Everyone Needs to Know. "

Newly published, the book is like a mega-FAQ about all things antibiotics, from how they were discovered to what we will do if they lose their ability to kill bacteria

Although they have not become widely available until the end of World War II, antibiotics have since become ubiquitous. They have also become steeped in myth and misconception. Overprescribed for much of their history, antibiotics are in danger of becoming moot because of the evolution of bacteria that can resist them.

Wilson breaks science, social issues and future fears without scaremongering. Thick and meaty, her book is still written for nonscientific readers.

Here's the unsettling truth: Antibiotics are overused and often misunderstood. The modern world – one partly built on the bedrock of easily available antibiotics – is so interconnected that it's easy for drug-resistant bacteria to travel and multiply

But Wilson does not stop at that specter. only the possibility of a post-antibiotic world but also the research that could reveal a new generation of viable antibiotics or creative alternatives

The result is a book that finds hope among ever-morphing bacteria – and a seemingly ever-shrinking pool of antibiotic alternatives


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