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Johan Mouton: international expert on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of antimicrobial agents

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 09 September 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l5468
  1. Tony Sheldon
  1. tonysheldon5{at}

The day before he died, Dutch medical microbiologist Johan Mouton still managed a call to the meeting of the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST), which sets guidelines for determining the sensitivity of bacteria to antibiotics. Mouton felt passionately about this standing committee of experts he helped found. He believed that it enabled scientific knowledge on the behaviour of antibiotics to be shared for the benefit of patients.

That knowledge, principally pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics (PK/PD)—the interaction between antimicrobial agents, microorganisms, and the human body—was his trademark; he was known as the “PK/PD man.”

In the early 1990s, he was one of a small group of medical microbiologists to study this, then relatively new, science. In a career spanning three decades he would apply its principles to achieve the best antibiotic dose, type, and method of application to tackle a specific infection. In the Netherlands, he was one of the first to consider what was the correct dose of an antibiotic, and consequently campaigned vociferously against their overuse.

Early life and career

Born in Leiden in 1956, he had first sought a different path from his father, Peter Mouton, an eminent medical microbiologist, and studied biology at Utrecht University. However, after an enjoyable …

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