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Content: We are aware that bacteria becomes resistant to antibiotics
The resistance of antibiotic has the potential to affect everyone on this plant.
These days it goes without saying the many of us have would have heard about antibiotic resistance and scientific studies are showing so many of us are aware the cause of the current crisis, and it is a CRISIS! is simply due to the overuse of these antibiotics. However not many of us know how and where the resistance occurs.
A recent study revealed some 88% of of us believe that antibiotic resistance only occurs when our bodies become resistant to antibiotics. This really is not quite correct.
Resistance to antibiotics can occur inside our bodies as our bodies are the host environment for the bacteria. Having said that, the important distinction is that our body’s immune systems do not change. It is the bacteria we have in our bodies that changes.
So what is antibiotic resistance?
Antibiotic resistance starts when bacteria change! Where bacteria change in a way that prevents the antibiotics from doing their job or working. Commonly known as changes in bacteria or resistance mechanisms, all come in different forms and they can be shared with other and between different bacteria, spreading the problem.
Bacteria and fungi naturally use antibiotics as weapons to kill each other off and to compete for space and food. This did not happen yesterday, they have been actively getting the job done for over a billion years. So what this means is over time the bacteria are used to coming into contact with antibiotics out in the environment and of course developing and sharing antibiotic resistance mechanisms.
Just about all the antibiotics that are in use today were modelled on ones naturally created by bacteria and fungi. In times gone by. So should the bacteria not encounter the antibiotic they developed resistance for, they would without doubt lose the resistance mechanism. However now days, simply because the world’s population we are abusing and overusing antibiotics, the bacteria are encountering them on very regular basis and thus holding onto their resistance mechanisms. So we have the crisis.
Bacteria frequently encounter antibiotics in the soil or the overall environment and in our bodies and in animals. The Antibiotic resistant bacteria will usually survive these encounters and then continue to multiply in the same way.
What this means is, the result is an increased risk of many of us being infected with antibiotic resistant disease causing bacteria and that can lead to increased complications in regaining good health, longer hospital stays and a much higher chance of death.
Just how resistance develops and spreads
It should be noted that some bacteria are naturally resistant to particular types of antibiotics. As an example, the antibiotic vancomycin is unable to kill Escherichia coli (E. coli), on the other hand metronidazole will kill the whooping cough-causing Bordetella pertussis.
it is for this reason that different antibiotics are prescribed for different types of infections.
These days, bacteria that could once be killed by particular types of antibiotics are becoming resistant to them. This change can occur in a couple of ways:
Horizontal gene transfer
Genetic mutation is when bacterial DNA, that is able to store the bacteria's information and codes for its traits, randomly makes a change or it mutates. If this change, that might be resistance to antibiotics, helps the mutated bacteria survive and reproduce, well then it will continue to thrive and outgrow the unchanged bacteria.
Now! Random mutation would occur with or without antibiotic overuse. Then again, the resistant changes only stay in the bacterial population if the antibiotic is constantly present in the bacteria's environment. With our continuing overuse of antibiotics this is resulting in the propagation and maintenance of these changes.
A horizontal gene transfer is when a single bacterium acquires antibiotic resistance mechanisms - supported by a particular gene - from other bacteria.
This is able to occur between the same types of bacteria, such as between E. coli that cause urinary tract infections and E. coli that cause food poisoning! Or it can happen between different kinds of bacteria, such as between E. coliand antibiotic resistant Staphylococcus aureus. (MRSA).
Horizontal gene transfer is also able to occur between the natural and disease-causing bacteria in our gut. So unfortunately our gut is able to act as a home or source of antibiotic resistance genes.
This is the main reason and it is important to only swallow antibiotics when they are needed. Keep in mind that bacteria is able to transfer multiple resistance mechanisms all at the same time and can they become resistant to many types of antibiotics very, very quickly - This is known as multi-drug resistance.
Bacteria is able to block antibiotics from working
So the question is question is HOW does this actually happen?
We have discovered that there are a few ways that bacteria can be resist antibiotics.
1) Cell Entry - Most antibiotics need to get inside or enter bacteria to start the killing process. They target special entry points or holes in the bacteria's surface to start the process, however the bacteria is able to close these entry points or remove them all together.
2) Efflux pumps - Interestingly the bacteria is able to use these Efflux pumps to literary pump induced antibiotics out of themselves. Not giving the antibiotic drugs had a chance to do their job. These Efflux pumps can target only one antibiotic or it is able to pump out several different types.
3) Antibiotic degrading enzymes - This type of molecule or molecules are produced by bacteria to degrade antibiotics so they no longer work.
4) Antibiotic altering enzymes - These are very similar to antibiotic degrading enzymes, only these particular molecules change the actual structure of the induced antibiotic so it will no longer work against the targeted bacteria.
5) Physical changes to antibiotic targets - Different types of antibiotics target different structures with in a given bacteria. However! Bacteria are able to change their structures, which means they are still able to function exactly as they did before but so the antibiotic was introduced because it does not recognise them.
These mechanisms are able to occur when the bacteria is inside our bodies, inside animals or out in the environment. This is one of the reasons why using antibiotics in the farming industries is of concern. Bacteria is able to become antibiotic-resistant in animals and then spread the bacteria by passing it into the environment through things like manure.
It is essential we safeguard our current antibiotics by using them appropriately.
As an example most people who catch the common cold, who are generally healthy will get better normally in 7–10 days and that is without any treatment. One needs to understand the body's immune system in most cases take care of the infection on its own. Colds and many other illnesses related to colds are caused by A VIRUS - SO TAKING ANTIBIOTICES WILL NOT HELP Antibiotics do not kill viruses.
What is needed is time, we need to invest time and money into developing new Antibiotics then once they are developed we should not be taking them for anything and everything, no should we take Antibiotics just for granted.
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