I’m sure that individual susceptibility to the effect of drugs has been known from before the dawn of civilisation: in oral epics, most chieftains hold their drink better than underlings. As soon as there was Mendelian genetics, there was phamacogenetics – the linking of particular genes to particular drug responses. Now we have pharmacogenomics – the linkage of drug responses to actual, measurable genomic variation. So, hey, we’ll soon be able to feed our DNA profile into a computer and it’ll tell us exactly which drugs we’ll respond to. Not simply, and certainly not soon, as this measured and learned review indicates. And, by the way, it includes a glossary which is a useful place to look up your basic pharmacological terminology.
I tend to be imperturbable in the face of killer bug threats, but c’est difficile in the face of the latest strain of C difficile. Also let it be known that boring old relics like me with a northern grammar school education will insist that the adjective which agrees with Clostidium is the neuter form of Latin difficilis and cannot be pronounced like the French word, but the media decrees (o tempora!difficile to diagnose as there is no standard test. The more cephalosporins and quinolones you use, the more you encourage it. sic false agreements! sic mispronunciations!) otherwise. There, I had to get that off my chest. All this is bad news. The blasted new diffikillay resists all known treatments and kills a lot of patients who get it, as it produces much more toxin. It is difficile to diagnose as there is no standard test. The more cephalosporins and quinolones you use, the more you encourage it.