My Antibiotic Is Not Working Because
Antibiotics are chemical compounds that fungi and other microorganisms produce. They either kill the disease-causing bacteria or slow down their growth. Over the past 60 years, many antibiotics have been produced and distributed worldwide in the form of products, such as cleaning products, medicine, and toiletries. Despite the advancement in antibiotics production, bacteria are increasingly becoming resistant to them. Antibiotic resistance refers to the genetic modification of bacteria that eliminates or reduces the ability of an antibiotic to destroy them. The element of drug resistance occurs not only in antibiotics drugs but also antimicrobial medicine and almost all parasites and pathogens (Smith, M’ikanatha, & Read 2015). Every time a drug is used against multi and single-celled animals, fungi, and viruses, resistance to the drug evolves thereby undermining the efficiency of the medicine. The phenomenon is referred to as antimicrobial resistance.
Several factors determine the lifetime of an antibiotic drug. The first factor is the duration that the resistance takes to arise. Bacteria that contain genes that are resistant to antibiotics are found naturally in the microbial population due to their random mutation. As soon as the gene responsible for resistance is present in the community, either by virtue of history or mutational accident, the bacteria can acquire the resistance gene by descent. The process occurs in a similar way to how human beings obtain genes from their parents. Different genetic mutations in bacteria give rise to different types of resistance. Some variations make the bacteria produce certain enzymes, which inactivate the antibiotics, whereas other alterations eliminate the cells that the antibiotics target. Other types of mutations close up the entry points that allow the antibiotics into the cell of the bacteria (Bowater, 2016). Additionally, bacteria can acquire antibiotic resistance from other bacteria in several mechanisms, such as a simple mating process also known as conjugation. Most bacteria usually transfer genes that are resistant to antibiotics, which are found in both the transposons and on plasmids, from one bacterium to another. The traits of resistance of one bacterium are normally embalmed into the head portion of a virus, which consequently injects the characteristics of resistance into a new bacterium. Although the resistance of antibiotics is a natural adaptation, the use of antibiotic drugs exacerbates its spread and appearance through evolution by natural selection. The evolution of resistance of bacteria to antibiotics occurs due to the replication of the drug-resistant bacteria, which consequently makes treatments fail (Bowater, 2016).
One of the measures society can take to limit resistance to antibiotics is reducing their use. Minimizing the frequency of use of antibiotics could help to slow down the spread of resistant genes once they appear in the pathogen population. If human beings can stop the use of drug Y to destroy bacterium X, then, they would stop every bacterium from being resistant in the first place. Additionally, every dose of antibiotics that are administered should offer resistance to the harmless bacteria, which naturally occurs in the body. Reduced antibiotics use implies the lessening of the genes that reside in the body, which means that there will be a reduction in the likelihood of pathogens acquiring resistance from antibiotics would minimize. Therefore, it is important that individuals use antibiotics that cause minimum selection for resistance to non-target organisms. These drugs should only be prescribed when necessary (Drlica & Perlin, 2010). Antibiotic resistance can also be reduced by not using antibiotics to treat viral infections, such as common cold and influenza. Furthermore, it is important to use antibiotics only when prescribed by a physician, avoid sharing them with other people, and take full doses (Laxminarayan et al., 2013). Every time an individual uses antibiotics unnecessarily, their effectiveness reduces.
An individual may use a procedure known as the Kirby-Bauer test to compare the effectiveness of an antibiotic as well as the degree of resistance of a bacterium the medicine. In such an experiment, a pure bacteria strain is isolated from an infected individual and then spread over the surface of a medium known as Mueller-Hinton agar, which creates a kind of a carpet for the bacteria. Small filter paper discs are placed gently on the surface of the agar hence inhibiting the development of the susceptible bacteria. If the bacterial colony is vulnerable to an antibiotic, a zone of inhibition will be formed around the antibiotic disc. On the contrary, if the bacterium is resistant to a particular antimicrobial, the zone of inhibition will not form around the antibiotic disc.
Antibiotics are chemical compounds that can either destroy bacteria or slow their rate of growth. Despite the advancement of antibiotics and the key roles that they play, such as curing different illnesses, bacteria are increasingly becoming resistant to the medicine. Antibiotic resistance refers to the genetic modification of the bacteria that eliminates or reduces the ability of an antibiotic to destroy them. Some of the factors that contribute to antibiotics resistance include mutation and natural selection. However, the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics can be reduced by avoiding using antibiotics to treat viral illnesses. Using antibiotics only when it is prescribed by a doctor, avoiding sharing antibiotics with other people, and finally, taking full doses of the drug are also key to preventing resistance to antibiotics.
Bowater, L. (2016). The Microbes Fight Back: Antibiotic Resistance. Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved from https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=kIDeDQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA27&dq=Bowater,+L.+(2016).+The+Microbes+Fight+Back:+Antibiotic+Resistance.+Royal+Society+of+Chemistry.&ots=Ah-ckDaX-N&sig=1v7xxBl1ToeTo7KlJ8NVrUh5PUE&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Bowater%2C%20L.%20(2016).%20The%20Microbes%20Fight%20Back%3A%20Antibiotic%20Resistance.%20Royal%20Society%20of%20Chemistry.&f=false
Drlica, K. S., & Perlin, D. S. (2010). Antibiotic resistance: understanding and responding to an emerging crisis. FT Press. Retrieved from https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=YUppJBKFwPwC&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=Drlica,+K.+S.,+%26+Perlin,+D.+S.+(2010).+Antibiotic+resistance:+understanding+and+responding+to+an+emerging+crisis.+FT+Press.&ots=LLDnf85xcy&sig=OdlmvGKPWl8OVqgx4VfkpMjfKjI&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
Laxminarayan, R., Duse, A., Wattal, C., Zaidi, A. K., Wertheim, H. F., Sumpradit, N., … & Greko, C. (2013). Antibiotic resistance—the need for global solutions. The Lancet infectious diseases, 13(12), 1057-1098. Retrieved from https://dukespace.lib.duke.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/10161/8996/CarsEtAl_AntibioticResistance-TheNeedforGlobalSolutions_LancetInfectiousDiseases_2013 .pdf?sequence=1
Smith, R. A., M’ikanatha, N. M., & Read, A. F. (2015). Antibiotic resistance: A primer and call to action. Health Communication, 30(3), 309-314. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4275377/