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Transcript of Antibiotic Resistance
When does it happen?
How to prevent antibiotic resistance
The number of new antibiotics being developed is also decreasing so antibiotic resistance is starting to become a big problem.
Antibiotic resistance is the ability of some microorganisms to be able to survive exposure to an antibiotic.
It is caused by the overuse or inappropriate use of antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance evolves via natural selection. Once a resistant gene is made bacteria can transfer the gene to other individuals via horizontal gene transfer.
Antibiotic resistance can have many consequences. It can prolong infections and cause recovery times to be much longer. Less effective medications would have to be used to treat the infection and it can even increase the risk of death.
Antibiotic resistance takes place when a genetic change occurs in the microorganism.
Antibiotics either kill the bacteria or interfere with its ability to grow and reproduce.
When you are fighting off a bacterial infection, your immune system can be overwhelmed. Antibiotics are used to defend against the invaders until your immune system can recover and finish off the remaining bacteria.
Antibiotic resistance can be prevented in many different ways.
It is very important that when you receive antibiotics you finish all of them even if you start to feel better. This ensures that all of the bacteria are killed and none survived to develop resistance.
It is also important that you only take antibiotics when you need to and that you do not take them when you have a viral infection like the cold.
Antibiotic resistant genes are sometimes used in crops to detect genes of interest like herbicide resistant genes. After the desired genes are found the antibiotic resistant ones are not removed and could be acquired by microbes in the environment.
Bacteria have evolved several mechanisms that allow them to become resistant to different antibiotics. The most common one is enzymatic inactivation. In this mechanism a cellular enzyme is changed to react with the antibiotic so that it no longer affects the microorganism.
About 70 percent of the bacteria that cause infections in hospitals are resistant to at least one of the drugs most commonly used for treatment. Some organisms are resistant to all approved antibiotics and can only be treated with experimental and potentially toxic drugs.
Over the years almost every known bacterial pathogen has developed resistance to one or more antibiotics in clinical use.