Antibiotic Resistance


Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacterial cells prevent antibiotics from reaching the targeted cells. They first change the structure of the target cell or replace the entire cell with their own cells and thereby reducing effectiveness of antibiotics. Killing and replacement of target cells is one of the traits possessed and acquired by bacteria, which enables them to outcompete or out survive their microbial neighbours and eventually overcome host strategy aimed against them. This does not just make bacteria harder to kill it can also make them stronger. As a result, antibiotic resistant species are easy to spread among different species of bacteria including human and animal pathogens making them resistant to antibiotics. Bacteria can acquire resistance through genetic mutations and transfer of resistance from another bacterium. Hence, there is an alarming worldwide increase in resistance to antibiotics. This is due to incorrect use of antibiotics for treatment of bacterial infection in both human and agricultural practice. Therefore, as any caring community member it is important to know about antibiotic resistance because one of the effective ways to reduce antibiotic resistance is knowing the causes and implementing regulation of the use of antibiotics.

Antibiotic resistance is not only a threat to human health but to food producing industries as well. Antibiotics are also used for food security in livestock and agriculture for treatment of bacterial diseases that could possibly attack plants. The use of antibiotics in crop and animal production makes antibiotic resistance a double burden for humans as consuming food with anti-resistant bacteria increases the chances of getting different types of antibiotic resistant bacteria. This intern requires use of different antibiotics as certain antibiotics work well for certain bacteria hence the increase in wrong prescription for antibiotics increases antibiotic resistance. In addition to that, patients tend to share prescribed antibiotics with their family members and this result in incomplete course of medication. Failure to complete the full course of antibiotics and over use or low dosages of antibiotic encourages antibiotic resistance. Consequently, antibiotic resistance results in long stays in hospitals as the regime need to be changed constantly if found ineffective. However, there are different cost effective ways in which antibiotic resistance could be controlled and this requires input from both patients and health care professionals.

Overcoming antibiotic resistance involves three parties; the patient, healthcare professionals as well as crop and animal producing industries. The role patients and healthcare professionals can play is the key to prevention of occurrence of antibiotic resistance. Patients should follow dosage instructions, not skipping any of the doses and complete the prescription even if they are feeling better. They need to understand the reasons for use of any antibiotics prescribed and therefore should stop requesting antibiotics for unnecessary reasons. In addition to that some healthcare professionals are kind enough to allow for self-prescription which intern is kind enough to allow for multiplication of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Use of antibiotics for agriculture should only be allowed for treatment of bacterial infections not growth purposes.



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