Narrator: This is Science Today. For over a decade, experts have warned that overuse of antibiotics is causing germs to become resistant to drugs. Because of this, there's a national call to lower total antibiotic use by 20 or 30 percent. Dr. Leland Rickman of the University of California, San Diego, says it's a challenging time in infectious disease and a lot of what researchers do is try to stay even with the bacteria as it outsmarts us.
Rickman: In the past, at least we've had the ability to develop new antibiotics to stay one or two steps ahead of the microorganisms. But with recent events over the last several years, at some point, we are going to lose some antibiotics against certain infections that could potentially bring us back to the pre-antibiotic era where there would be infections that we just couldn't treat with antibiotics.
Narrator: In the meantime, Rickman agrees with limiting antibiotic use.
Rickman: So in other words, if you don't need an antibiotic, don't take it.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.