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How do Antibiotics work?

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Jackson Evans

on 6 November 2013

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Transcript of How do Antibiotics work?

Introduction to antibiotic resistant bacteria
How do bacteria become resistant?
Bacteria can become resistant in two different ways:
1. Genetic mutation
2. Acquiring through other bacteria
Transduction is simply when viruses act as a transport mechanism and inject DNA from a host cell into a recipient cell.

Below is a diagram of transduction occurring.
What is antibiotic resistant bacteria?
Bacteria is labelled as antibiotic resistant when antibiotics lose the ability to kill or limit it's growth.
Some bacteria are naturally resistant to certain antibiotics
The currently increasing rates of antibiotic resistance are said to be caused by the misuse of antibiotics that have been made readily available.
How do antibiotics work?
Most antibotics work through inhibiting either:
RNA Synthesis
DNA Synthesis
Cell Wall Synthesis
Protein Synthesis
Below is a diagram displaying the mechanisms of action for various antibiotics.
Figure 1: A diagram of the mechanisms of antibiotic action
Genetic mutation
It is thought that genetic mutations in bacteria occur in about every 1/1million to 1/10million cells.

Some mutations enable the production of enzymes to dismantle antibiotics, some eliminate the cell targets which antibiotics focus on and others can close up entry ports or even allow a pumping mechanism within the cell to expel antibiotics.
Acquiring resistance
Bacteria can successfully acquire antibiotic resistance from other bacteria in 3 different ways. These include conjugation, transformation and transduction
Conjugation is a process where the resistance genes (found on transposons or plasmids) are transferred between bacteria.

The diagram below notes the basic processes of conjugation.
Figure 2: A diagram of the process of bacterial conjugation
Figure 3: A diagram of bacterial transformation
Transformation involves the acquiring of free "naked" bacterial DNA from the environment.

The diagram below displays the process of transformation.
Figure 4: A diagram of bacterial transduction
Full transcript