What Doesnt Kill Them Makes Them Stronger Humans live in constant contact with not only plants and animals, but also with bacteria. Bacteria are everywhere: in water and soil and in the bodies of humans and other animals. The majority of bacteria dont have the ability to cause disease, but that doesnt mean that they are totally harmless. The problem arises when disease causing bacteria interact, and are frequently in contact with the commensal, or harmless bacteria. They serve as reservoirs for resistance genes; collecting them and holding them for future transmission to other bacteria.
As the resistance is transmitted from bacteria to bacteria, eventually it will be passed to one with disease causing potential. Humans have grown accustomed to always having antibiotics just a prescription away, and knowing that they will cure their illness. These chemical substances, which are often natural, kill the bacteria by specifically targeting its ribosome or replication machinery. Virtually all of modern medicine rests on the efficiency of antibiotics, due to the fact that they not only cure bacterial infections but also decrease the infectious disease risk of surgery, chemotherapy and transplants to a low enough level to make them medically possible. But what happens when these antibiotics fail to do their job, and there is nothing that can stop the dangerous bacteria from spreading This resistance to antibiotics is becoming an increasing threat to the human population and precautions must be taken to prevent the problem from getting worse. In todays society, bacteria are now more mobile than they ever were before, which makes it even easier for them to multiply and transmit resistance.
... bacteria can collect and cause decay; and regular brushing and flossing of teeth. VI HISTORY OF HUMAN DISEASE Humans ... due to the conquering of diseases, thanks to vaccines, antibiotics, sophisticated surgical tools, and ... result in resistance to medicines that had been effective treatments. The bacteria that cause ... physicians and other health care professionals make a diagnosis. Many times, however, ...
They have grown to evolve naturally so that the are able to survive in the hostile environments they are often subject to. Bacteria, in every environment where antibiotics are used, are constantly evolving and exchanging genes that confer resistance to antibiotics. The bacteria are able to transfer genes to one another by means of horizontal gene transfer. This process allows bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics by acquiring DNA from another bacterium that already has the resistance. When the resistance is attained, that particular antibiotic no longer is able to inhibit the growth or kill the bacteria. Once a resistant strain is developed, all of the offspring of that bacterium will contain the resistance.
Because these organisms then pick up further resistance to other drugs and continue to pass them on, all its going to do it get worse. This problem of resistant bacteria has been found to be an extremely dangerous concern in todays hospitals. They account for three out of every five hospital acquired infections, affecting nearly two million Americans. Half of all of these two million cases are resistant to at least one antibiotic. Resistance has proved to be an especially worrisome problem for people with immune disorders such as AIDS, cancer patients, and also recipients of organ transplants. It has been found that almost 90% of these patients that get multiple-drug resistant TB end up dying.
A drug resistant form of Salmonella, known as Salmonella Typhimurium has recently emerged in the United States. This Salmonella subtype has been associated with severe human illness and even death, due to the fact that it has numerous antimicrobial resistance. Studies show that the Salmonella Typhimurium is present in animals both wild and domesticated, and can be easily transmitted to humans. These same studies show that eating beef, pork, or poultry products has been associated with outbreaks of the disease in humans. As soon as a particular strain of virus becomes resistant to an antibiotic, doctors must be forced to prescribe alternate medications in order to cure the bacteria. If you had an antibiotic recently, youre three to nine times more likely to have a resistant infection that someone who has not had an antibiotic.
... drug may select bacteria with resistance to different kinds of antibiotics. There are many incidences of multi-drug resistance in bacteria, ... for the breeding of antibiotic resistant bacteria. In Third-World countries, antibiotics are provided to treat ... resistance to antibiotics is during drug therapy, so it is very important that patients who have a serious contagion be quarantined, since outbreaks ...
Once the different types of antibiotics have been used, there is not much else that can be done. Unlike other fields of medicine, antibiotics have not been a main focus of researchers. We are still commonly using medications such as penicillin, which have been around for over fifty years, but what has happened with it is also becoming common. When first put to use, penicillin got rid of all staph (Staphylococcus aureus) infections. Today in the U. S.
, more than 90% of these strains are resistant to penicillin, along with numerous other bacteria. As the antibiotics become more and more popular and are overused, it is more likely that viruses will develop resistance to them. Resistance can develop in less time than you would think. For example, it is a proven fact that one of the most feared bacterial meningitis actually normally lives in the throats and nasal passages of 5% to 10% of the people in the U. S.
This bacterium lives harmlessly and only rarely causes outbreaks or illness to the carrier of it. In 1995 there was an outbreak of the disease in a middle school in Seattle, Washington. In order to try to stop the spread of the disease, doctors prescribed the antibiotic rifampin to all of the students in the school. They succeeded and there were no further outbreaks, but they may have caused an even larger problem because just three weeks later three of the students were carrying a strain of the meningitis bacteria that was resistant to the antibiotics. The issue of time also plays a large role in why this is such a problem today.
Finding a successful new antibiotic that is not related to the already existent ones takes many years and hundreds of millions of dollars to accomplish, while gene exchange between two bacteria takes less than one hour. These two opposing rates make it very difficult to create tough new medications. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just recently approved the release of a new antibiotic, Zyvox, which they warned doctors to be careful with. Releasing this new drug, the FDA feels as though it is like a parent giving a 16-year old the keys to the new car.
... , not bacteria, cause colds and flu, thus antibiotic treatment is useless and breed resistance. Treatment for eye infections is another major cause of resistance. Doctors write ... , which in turn we now know leads to antibiotic resistance. Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics unnecessarily Doctors feel pressure because they are afraid they ll lose ...
It is afraid that they will foolishly prescribe the drug and do more harm than good. It is to be used as a last type resort, only after other medications are tried first and fail to work. Zyvox is intended for more serious drug resistant staph infections, among other things, and researchers expect that eventually it too will be confronted with resistance. Besides this and another new one known as Synercid, there are no other new antibiotics that are on the near horizon.
Researchers are aware of the many reasons that the issue of antibiotic resistance is such a problem, and there are many things that can be done to prevent it from escalating. The solution has to start with the doctors themselves, and changing the way that they prescribe the medications. As much as half of all antibiotics are prescribed wrongly, despite recent efforts to educate doctors and patients. Patients need to become aware that 80% of all fevers, inflammations, colds, and flu are a result of viral infections, which cannot be cured by antibiotics.
Just because you have a few days of fever or two weeks of a sore throat or cough doesnt mean you have anything more that a cold. This message is slowly but surely getting out to doctors and as a result, the rate of prescriptions written for children under 15 years of age dropped 12% from 1990 to 1998. Patients also need to stick to the small guns. The more an antibiotic is used, the more likely bacteria are to develop resistance to it. When you do in fact need an antibiotic, you are better off using the one that affects the smallest group of bacteria; one that targets only a particular illness. Wider-ranged antibiotics on the other hand would subject other bacteria to the drug and give it more chances to develop resistance.
Many people today believe that more is always better. We are living in a time where everything is beginning to come with an antibacterial guarantee, such as scrubs, soaps, mouthwashes, and even toys. Many of these products should be reserved for hospitals and sick patients coming home for treatment; all you need is soap and water in the healthy household. Many of these antibacterial cleansers do in fact kill some bacteria strains, but they can also strengthen the ones that survive and cause then to be more dangerous.
... We Do About Antibiotic-Resistance Bacteria”, Doctors thought of this issue and came up with a logical solution. Rotating the antibiotics allows patients to receive ... how antibiotics affect bacteria over time. From 1995 to 1998 the resistance of penicillin by the bacteria known as Streptococcus Pneumoniae increased consistently. If patients ...
To avoid the spread of germs, people should wash their hands before they eat, and also after they use the bathroom or shake hands. Many viral illnesses are passed by hand-to-mouth and can be prevented by this. Another key problem adding to the resistance is the routine feeding of antibiotics to farm animals. The National Consumer Council (NCC) now is claiming that the use of antibiotics on farms is reducing their effectiveness to treat life-threatening human illnesses. By weight, half of all antibiotics are given to livestock and fish in an attempt to prevent disease. More and more farmers today are giving their animals antibiotics in order to speed up growth and to prevent infection and disease where there is intensive breeding.
There is also some concern about the antibiotic residues that are left behind in meat and then consumed by people. The NCC suggests a radical overhaul of the current agricultural policy and believes that there should be more guidelines placed on farmers in order to change the way that they work. Bacteria, like all other living things, are not carbon copies of each other, and even within species there are variations. When you take an antibiotic for a bacterial infection, the most vulnerable bacteria die first, and the least susceptible will die last. This is an extremely good reason for patients to make sure they take their antibiotics for the full amount of time that the doctor prescribes. By only taking it until you feel your symptoms have been relieved, you may have killed the weakest bacteria, but the strongest ones are still left and are able to multiply and become resistant.
This resistant strain will then be passes on to other people, thus causing a vicious cycle. The best way of all to avoid the whole situation of antibiotic resistance is to not get sick in the first place. This can begin by making sure that you and your children have all of your immunizations. Also cigarette smoking greatly increases your vulnerability to bacterial infections, so dont smoke and if you do, try quitting. And finally, wash your hands on a regular basis. Doing it is one of the simplest and most effective tools to top the spread of bacteria in its tracks.
... health officials would know the extent of antibiotic resistance in both the infectious and benign bacteria in a community. To treat a specific ... instead of having to choose a broad-spectrum product. Washing hands after seeing each patient is a major and obvious, but ... centers and farms (where the drugs are often given to livestock for nonmedicinal purposes) increases the levels of resistant bacteria in ...
The moral of the story is that not all bacteria are bad, but it becomes a problem when the dangerous few multiply and cannot be killed off by our most powerful defenses. We should think of microbes as friends, with a few back-stabbers in the bunch. Works Cited Commensal Bacteria are Reservoirs of Resistance. Roar. web Farm Practices Threaten Health. BCC News.
web How Severe is Antibiotic Resistance web Katz, Dolores. The War on Antibiotic Resistance. The Daily Apple. P 1-2 Meyer, Michelle. Antibiotic Resistance. Better Homes and Gardens, March 2001.
p 210-15. Solving Antibiotic Resistance. web >.