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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


COTERA, Alejandro. Neruda and antimicrobial resistance. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2011, vol.139, n.7, pp.955-958. ISSN 0034-9887.

Antimicrobial resistance has been a problem in medicine, since their incorporation to clinical practice. Numerous papers have been written on the subject. The analysis of two poems by Pablo Neruda "How much does a man live" and "Larynx", included in the volume "Estravagario" and published for the first time in 1957 and 1958, give us an incredible revelation about the concept of resistance. In these poems aureomycin, the first antimicrobial of the family of tetracycline’s, was included as a poetic figure and the therapeutic action of antimicrobials was described. "Never so much bugs died I tons of them fell I but the few that remained olive I manifested their perversity". These writings incorporated novel concepts, even for physicians of that time and described the closeness of death that a patient may perceive during the course of a given disease. The capacity of Pablo Neruda to extract the essence of situations and to anticipate to conditions that only years later became clinically relevant problems, is noteworthy.

Palabras clave : Anti-bacterial agents; Drug resistance, microbial; Neruda; Poetry.

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