What is antibacterial resistance? This occurs when an antibiotic can no longer control or kill bacterial growth effectively. In other words, the bacteria develop a mechanism not to respond to the drug and continue multiplying despite the presence of healing levels of the recommended antibiotic. Antibiotic resistance is one of the major challenges facing medics and pharmacists as the trend continues to escalate among the world population. In this essay, we explain the concept of antibiotic resistance, including global facts and trends, causes, and possible control measures.
According to the World Health Organization, WHO, antibiotic resistance is a threat to the health of people in the world as it affects effective prevention and treatment of infections, caused by microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses. Because of the magnitude of this problem, it requires the attention and efforts of every government through action-oriented measures. In addressing the issue of antibiotic resistance, it is worth noting that the problem cuts across the whole world and no single country is safe even though the levels of this kind of resistance may vary from nation to nation because of different factors. When new resistance mechanisms emerge, they quickly spread to the rest of the world, making it a global problem.
By the year 2012, there were about 450,000 new of multidrug-resistant TB, and Extensively drug-resistance TB has been identified in 92 countries of the world. Patients who develop MDR TB always require extensive and prolonged treatment as compared to those who do not have any resistance towards TB drugs. Resistance against anti-malaria drugs is highly prevalent across the globe especially in countries that are malaria stricken. This has forced the adoption of new drugs, different from what the past generation used to deal with scourge.
Unknown to most people in the world, antibiotic resistance occurs naturally. Normally, when an antibiotic is applied on bacteria, there are those that resist its effects and survive while others are highly susceptible and either die or their action inhibited. As a result, there is selective pressure on the survival of bacteria in a patient’s body. Importantly, not all antibiotic resistance cases are induced by human beings. For example, some resistance cases are natural as bacteria may generate and use antibiotics to attack competing bacteria in human body, leading to low level of natural selection for drug resistance.
Nonetheless, experts attribute the skyrocketing levels of antibiotic resistance to overuse and abuse of drugs in the market. In most countries of the world today, it is possible to purchase antibiotics over the counter without the prescription of a doctor. This is worsened by the massive use of the internet where the public can order drugs online without any prescription. In some cases, which could also be common and shocking on a large scale, patients use antibiotics unnecessarily to deal with viral infections like common cold. While this is the case, there are bacteria, which are naturally resistant to specific types of antibiotics. Other common ways of acquiring this resistance is through genetic mutation and acquisition of resistance from other bacterium.
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