How Antibiotic Resistance Develops
Problems Associated with Antibiotics Resistance
The development of antibiotic resistance is a major problem that may results in millions of deaths due to bacterial infections. We all got used to the thought that there are plenty of different antibiotics and other medications that can help us to manage various diseases. Unfortunately, bacteria are smart living things that are extremely adapting to the environmental changes and attacks of antibacterials. Due to antibiotic resistance, some bacterial infections cannot be simply cured with the medications.
When the humanity did not have any antibiotics, a countless number of people died from even simple infections. Since 1928, when the first antibiotic penicillin was discovered, lots of lives have been saved thanks to the use of antibacterials. Antibiotics began to be used massively for the treatment and prophylaxis of various diseases, and often the use of the medications was unnecessary.
Although antibiotic resistance is a naturally occurred process, it is also initiated by stress that bacteria experience due to antibiotics trying to kills them or suppress their growth. Lots of sources of information today are dedicated to antibiotic resistance, aiming at warning people about one of the most valuable problems in the modern world.
How Antibiotic Resistance Develops
The development of antibiotic resistance is mostly promoted by misuse and overuse of antibacterials. When antibiotics are used, sensitive bacteria are destroyed, but certain bacteria survive and become resistant. Then they grow and multiply. The repeated use of antibacterials leads to the increase in the number of medication-resistant bacteria.
Bacteria become resistant through several ways. Some species are able to “neutralize” a medication by changing it so that it becomes harmless. Others manage to pump a drug outside of their borders before it can do any harm. Some bacteria are capable of changing their outer structure, which does not allow antibiotics to pass through it.
The problem is that it is just enough one bacterium to withstand against drugs so that it could multiply and fill in the emptied space with new, stronger species. Bacteria that manage to survive will likely become resistant. Another way of bacteria to become resistant is a mutation of genetic material.
Another thing that is important to know about antibiotics is that they also kill good bacteria in the body that have to protect people against infections. When an antibiotic kills most of the pathogens and most of the good bacteria, the bad ones that are left have no obstacle to multiply.
Factors Contributing to the Development of Antibiotic Resistance
The information provided above explains how antibiotic resistance develops, and here you will find out why it happens, in particular, what factors contribute to this process.
Overuse is one of the most important factors that most contribute to the process. Today, antibiotics are prescribed even when it is not needed, just in case. Also, the medications are often used for prophylaxis, but according to the research, such an approach is often ineffective and not necessary for all patients.
Misuse of antibiotics occurs when people do not use medications correctly. For instance, antibiotics may be prescribed for the treatment of viral infections, which is wrong because they are useless against viruses. Also, the patient often fails to follow all recommendations of their health care providers, taking drugs not as it was prescribed. For instance, after several days of use, people experience relief in symptoms and believe that the treatment can be ended. By doing so, they do not treat the infection properly and allow bacteria to become resistant to the used drug. Also, people may use medication is a smaller dosage than it is really needed, which does not kill bacteria but allow them to adapt to the enemy. Another problem is that people do not have much knowledge about antibiotics and that certain bacterial infections can be treated only with certain antibacterials, but people just use antibiotics that remain in their home or in their relatives or friends. This results in not eliminating the source of infection but given to other species the strength against this medication.
Poor prevention of bacterial infections leads to the increased use of antibiotics. It is important to follow the simple rules of hygiene, such as washing hand, not using other people personal things, using condoms, etc.