The Widespread Resistance to Antibiotics: Stuart B. Levy, M.D.

Stuart B. Levy. M.D., Distinguished Professor of Molecular Biology and Microbiology and of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine; Director of the Center for Adaptation Genetics and Drug Resistance; and President of the International Alliance for Prudent Use of Antibiotics. He is a past President of the American Society for Microbiology.

In this August 13 SftPublic recording at the Tufts School of Medicine, Dr. Levy discusses the crisis of widespread ineffectiveness of antibiotics that were originally considered miracle drugs. Dr. Levy was one of the first medical researchers to alert the international scientific community and the public about the dangerous consequences of the misuse and over-prescribing of antibiotics. He led the first farm study showing that feed containing low-dose antibiotics led to the emergence of antibiotic resistance in animals and people.

Dr. Stuart Levy has published over 300 papers, edited four books and two special journal editions devoted to antibiotic use and resistance. His 1992 book, The Antibiotic Paradox: How Miracle Drugs Are Destroying the Miracle, now in its second edition, has been translated into four languages.

Because bacteria are able to mutate rapidly to evade the effects of antibiotics, many bacterial diseases and infections now fail to respond to antibiotics. The threat extends to our food because livestock are given antibiotics to ensure rapid growth and weight gain. And because livestock waste from industrial farms penetrates soil and water, antibiotic residuals are pervasive in the environment. Dr. Levy led the first, and perhaps only, prospective farm study showing that feed containing low-dose antibiotics led to the emergence of antibiotic resistance in animals and people. He has published over 300 papers, edited four books and two special journal editions devoted to antibiotic use and resistance. His 1992 book, The Antibiotic Paradox: How Miracle Drugs Are Destroying the Miracle, now in its second edition, has been translated into four languages.

American Society for Microbiology honors Dr. Levy

Dr. Levy's 2010 testimony before Congress on the issue of antibiotics

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More about Dr. Levy: Dr. Levy received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania, completed his residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York and performed postdoctoral research at the National Institutes of Health. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, Infectious Disease Society of America, the American Academy of Microbiology and the Association for the Advancement of Science. He was Chairperson of the U.S. Fogarty Center study of “Antibiotic use and resistance worldwide” and helped write the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment report on antibiotic resistant bacteria. He consults for international and national organizations including the World Health Organization, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine, the U.S. FDA and U.S. EPA. In 1995 he received the Hoechst-Roussel Award for esteemed research antimicrobial chemotherapy from the American Society for Microbiology and has been awarded honorary degrees from Wesleyan and Des Moines Universities.