Antibiotic Resistance

Essay by sincere25College, UndergraduateA+, May 2008

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This paper consists of an evolution of antibiotics. It explains how I think the further evolution of antibiotic resistance can or cannot be prevented. It gives the definition of what antibiotic resistance is and if there is a problem with this. It then gives some technical background and some recommendations on how to prevent or reduce the problem.

Antibiotic resistance is the ability of a microorganism to withstand the effects of an antibiotic. Antibiotic resistance can also be introduced artificially into a microorganism through transformation protocols. Antibiotic resistance is a consequence of evolution by the way of natural selection. This is through random mutation but it can also be engineered by applying an evolutionary stress on a population. Resistance is an especially vexing problem for people with impaired immune systems. The action of antibiotics is an environmental pressure.

The very success of antibiotics accounts for part of the resistance problem.

Resistance happens so quickly in parallel with the use of antibiotics. A gained resistance to any antibiotics is because of the bacterium during a gene transfer. Harmless bacteria acquire such resistance because any organism exposed to antibiotics faces the same selective pressure that causes pathogens to become antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance can lurk undetected in many harmless organisms long before it is really detected. Bacteria learn from our mistakes because once the resistance develops all of the offspring’s of a bacteria starts to get it. Once the resistance strain is made everybody who is infected with bacteria will have a resistance problem.

At anytime bacteria is exposed to an antibiotic they are under selective pressure that allows only resistance forms to survive and reproduce. A key problem is the routine feeding of antibiotics to farm animals.

To give some recommendations on how to prevent or reduce the problems are (provided...