Antimicrobial resistance is a major public health issue across the globe. On September 4, 2019, we lost a partner in that mission. Stuart Levy, MD, one of the earliest and loudest voices warning of the dangers of antibiotic overuse in both humans and animals, passed away after a prolonged illness.
Dr. Levy was a respected physician, researcher, and educator at Tufts University School of Medicine. Not only was Levy the director for the Center for Adaptation Genetics and Drug Resistance at Tufts University, he was also the president of the non-profit he founded to champion antibiotic stewardship, the Alliance for Prudent Antibiotic Use.
In his groundbreaking study published as “Changes in Intestinal Flora of Farm Personnel after Introduction of a Tetracycline-Supplemented Feed on a Farm” (N Engl J Med. 1976;295:583-588. DOI: 10.1056/NEJM197609092951103), Levy and his co-authors found, “that antibiotic-supplemented feed is a factor contributing to the selection of human resistant strains of bacteria” and they went on to conclude, “These data speak strongly against the unqualified and unlimited use of drug feeds in animal husbandry and speak for re-evaluation of this form of widespread treatment of animals.” Four decades later, we are still working to address this issue.
At bioMérieux, Inc. we are working to both combat resistance and spread awareness to the general public. As World Antibiotic Awareness Week (November 18-24) 2019 approaches, we reaffirm our commitment to continuing Dr. Levy’s lifelong mission of promoting more prudent antibiotic use.
We offer the most sincere condolences to his family, friends, colleagues, and all those who join us in mourning his loss.
Photograph of Dr. Levy: Tufts Medical Center.