Letter: Don't blame ills on antibiotics

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The Independent Online
Sir: While Glenda Cooper is right to warn about the return of the microbe ("The waning of the antibiotic age", 21 May), her article fails to mention another trend - the decline of the medical microbiologist.

Alexander Fleming is claimed by the Scots as one of their great men. What they probably don't know is that his academic successors are, unlike the microbes, approaching extinction. I am the only professor of bacteriology left in the Scottish medical schools after more than a decade of cuts and retrenchment. No wonder infectious diseases are fighting back. They have never heard of research assessment scores or funding formulae.

Professor T H PENNINGTON

Department of Medical

Microbiology

University of Aberdeen

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