Talk #107, 11/23/16

Beneficial Microbes and Harmful Antibiotics

Dean Stanley Maloy
Dean of Sciences, San Diego State University
Past President of the American Society for Microbiology


Antibiotics have changed the practice of medicine, and saved countless lives. Most antibiotics kill a wide variety of pathogens, allowing a physician to prescribe a potential cure without knowing the cause of an infection. However, a high level of resistance has developed to such broad-spectrum antibiotics. In addition, these antibiotics also kill the beneficial bacterial communities that are critical for human health, hence impacts on the microbiome can result in chronic secondary problems, including  infections with Clostridium difficile. Recent development of rapid identification methods coupled with genome directed approaches for targeting specific pathogens provide new opportunities for rapid delivery of targeted antimicrobials that avoid problems associated with broad-spectrum antibiotics. In addition, these approaches allow the rapid redesign of antimicrobials in response to the development of resistance.

Prof. Maloy’s presentation can be downloaded by clicking on the following link:

Beneficial Microbes and Harmful Antibiotics

For those of you who enjoyed the Lyncean coin presentation, here is a link to those slides:

Maloy Coin Presentation