Have heard enough about antibiotic resistance but not sure what exactly it is? Or You are suffering from a health condition that requires antibiotic consumption and worried about antibiotic resistance? Don’t worry. This article will highlight some important facts about antibiotic resistance and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Antibiotic resistance is a serious problem, and the incidence of it is on the rise. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria survive even when an optimal dose of the required antibiotic is administered. This makes the treatment of various conditions difficult like tuberculosis and pneumonia.
What is Antibiotic Resistance?
Antibiotics kill bacteria and are used to prevent and treat bacterial infections. Antibiotic resistance is a condition where an antibiotic is not able to treat a bacterial infection effectively. Bacteria that continues to grow in the presence of an antibiotic are known as antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Some of the dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria are Escherichia coli, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Klebsiella pneumonia, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Salmonella spp.
8 fast-facts about Antibiotic Resistance and Resistant Bacteria
It is One of the Most Urgent Threats to Public Health: Antibiotic is a boon to humans, but its resistance is a topic of concern. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antibiotic-resistant bacteria are seen to infect almost 2 million people worldwide and kill at least 23,000 every year.
A Global Problem: Misuse of antibiotics has caused an increase in the number and types of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. If this continues to happen, infectious diseases might become uncontrollable one day. With the growth of tourism and global trade, antibiotic-resistant bacteria can spread easily to any part of the world.
Causes of Drug Resistance: Antibiotic resistance has gradually evolved. Antibiotics exert selective pressure. They kill only those bacteria that are susceptible, leaving behind stronger ones. These bacteria become resistant to the used antibiotic. Mutation of genes is one of the aspects of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Sadly, bacteria can pass resistant genes to a large colony of bacteria that makes their spread easier. Some bacteria can change the site of antibiotic action, so it does not affect its functions. Moreover, some bacteria pump the antibiotic out rapidly, preventing its action.
Misuse of Antibiotics Worsens the Problem: Antibiotics are effective only against bacteria and cannot kill viruses. Taking antibiotics when not required or for viral infections, does not have any effect on the virus. It kills the bacteria in your body that succumbs to it and stronger bacteria become resistant. This resistant gene in one bacterium can be transferred to other bacteria as well.
Animal Husbandry as a Source of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria: Sub-therapeutic doses of antibiotics used in animal-rearing for preventing disease and promoting growth can result in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These bacteria can spread to humans.
Antibiotic Resistance in some age groups is of concern: Antibiotic resistance in children and older adults is of significant concern as the use of antibiotics is most common in them.
Antibiotic Resistance as an Economic Burden: Antibiotic resistance makes it difficult to treat a disease. That means longer hospital stay, frequent visits to the doctor, and a longer duration of treatment. All these factors increase the cost of treatment, making antibiotic resistance an economic burden.
A Disease that was once Treated with a Particular Antibiotic now Becomes Untreatable: Various diseases that were cured with an antibiotic cannot be cured with the same antibiotic as the bacterium causing infection has now become resistant to it. Escherichia coli, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Klebsiella pneumonia, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Salmonella spp are some of the examples of the common antibiotic-resistant bacteria.