Antibiotic resistance

Unfortunately, all bacteria that cause various diseases in the human body develop antibiotic resistance over time. This is a natural process of bacteria adaptation to a harmful effect of an antibiotic agent.

Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest problems the humanity has to deal with today. Found in 20’s of the last century, antibiotics became one of the most important discoveries made by scientists.

Antibiotics allowed people to resist such infectious diseases as dysentery, tuberculosis, typhoid fever and meningitis for many years. Specialists divide antibiotic resistance into natural and acquired types.

The natural (primary) resistance is encoded in chromosomal genes of bacteria. It develops long before an antibiotic starts acting. This is an invulnerable bacterium, which has no cell walls.

Therefore, some antibiotic drugs, the action of which is directed to the cell walls of bacteria, simply cannot find the target to hit. Or simply put, because of the impermeability of bacterial cell walls, an antibiotic agent cannot cope with such bacterium.

The acquired (secondary) resistance arises in spontaneous mutations of bacteria or when acquiring some antibiotic resistance genes that are transferred by plasmids and transposons.

So why are antibiotics not as effective as they used to be? It is believed that a frequent use and large doses of antibiotic drugs is one of the main antibiotic resistance causes.

The use of antibiotics without doctor’s recommendation, when suspecting any infection and uncontrolled use of antibiotic drugs lead to the fact that bacteria are getting used to these antibiotics much faster. That is why the resistant strains spread so quickly.

Today, people can find many facts, proving that an active use of antibiotics will inevitably lead to resistant bacteria strains.

In addition to the occurrence of resistant bacteria strains, antibiotics overuse may cause quite unpleasant effects, such as: rash, vomiting, indigestion. Let’s face the fact: there are few drugs that cause no side effects.

Antibiotics drugs are not an exclusion. According to the healing effect spectrum, antibiotics are divided into broad-spectrum antibiotics and narrow-spectrum antibiotics. On one hand, the broad-spectrum antibiotics cure people from many infections.

On the other hand, such antibiotic agents can cause many adverse reactions as well, because their effect spreads over many internal organs of the human body.

The mechanism of action of antibiotic agent.

Some antibiotics inhibit the bacterial growth by destroying them. Such antibiotic agents are called bactericidal antibiotics. They act in the most important cell structures of bacteria, destroying great quantities of such microorganisms.

Other antibiotics act on the microbes in a different way. They prevent the multiplication of these bacteria. So, the number of such microorganisms never increases. Some bacteria die because they are old, others are actively destroyed by the immune cells (leukocytes).

Antibiotic resistance evolves in bacteria because of a natural selection caused by spontaneous mutations or because of antibiotic effect. Microorganisms are able to transfer the gene mutation information on antibiotic resistance by horizontal gene transfer.

Moreover, the antibiotic resistance of microorganisms can be created artificially by gene transformation method. For instance, this can be caused by the transfer of artificial genes of a microorganism.

What is antibiotic resistance of bacteria?

Antibiotic resistance of bacteria is a state of bacteria that cannot be controlled by antibiotics. Besides, these kinds of bacteria can survive and even multiply while an antibiotic agent is in the body.

Most infections, provoked by the antibiotic resistant bacteria, can become resistant to several antibiotics at once. Hence, the problem of antibiotic resistance is discussed in many newspaper articles, on the Television and by the World Health Organization.

An improper use of antibiotics and their wide usage in agriculture and veterinary causes the accumulation of antibiotics in the environment. Usually, antibiotic agents are used for the treatment, prevention or stimulation of growth of farm animals.

Thus, the antibiotic resistance of bacteria and antibiotic resistance of genes are transmitted through the food chain from animals to people. This is a very disturbing fact, requiring a thorough study of the antibiotic resistance problem.

Now due to this, the National healthcare systems of different countries are planning to study the antibiotic resistance to antibiotic drugs in farm animals, environment and food of animal origin.