antibiotics, resistance to

Cultural Dictionary

antibiotics, resistance to definition


The insensitivity to a particular antibiotic developed by the bacteria against which the antibiotic has been used repeatedly or over a long time. The process works by the ordinary rules of natural selection: that segment of the bacteria population that has a natural ability to counter the drug's effect will survive, so that their genes eventually are shared by the entire population.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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