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Antibiotic Resistance – The Lethal Threat for Next Generation

picture of antibioticsHave you ever thought what antibiotic resistance is?
Do you know what could be the effect of taking antibiotics for a long time?

After reading the above two questions, a question may arise in your mind – why you need to be concerned about antibiotic resistance? For the reason that antibiotic resistance is now considered as a lethal threat for our next generation.

Improper administration and lack of proper knowledge about the possible threat of antibiotic misuse are now forwarding our next generations to the upcoming threat. As a result, it is now an immense need that you must keep yourself concerned about the antibiotic resistance.

However, if you are not aware or never heard about the drug resistance fact, pay your full attention to carefully read this post to understand what antibiotic resistance is and the possible threats of antibiotic resistance.

What are Antibiotics?

Antibiotics are potential drugs that are often prescribed by physicians to kill or stop the growth of bacteria. These lifesaving drugs are essentially used to support your body's natural defenses, when your immune system is exposed to a bacterial infectious disease.

What is Antibiotic Resistance?

As I have mentioned above, antibiotics possess potential killing and inhibitory properties over bacteria and other microorganisms. When these microorganisms grow the ability to survive with the lethal doses of an antibiotic drug, it is called antibiotic resistance. More precisely, it is the loss of antibacterial properties of an antibiotic.

How Bacteria Grows the Ability of Resistance?

Antibiotics Mechanisms of action
Antibiotics Mechanisms of Action
The understanding of bacterial resistance to antibiotics will first require you to understand how antibiotics work. Usually, antibiotics kill or inhibit bacteria by inactivating or neutralizing an essential cell protein in bacteria. When bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, this essential protein is either removed or altered. Eventually, this changing in the essential protein of bacteria discourages antibiotics from attaching to the target site.

As you know every being in this world – either plant or animal – is going through and will go through continuous changing in genetic coding. The genetic material of bacteria is also going through spontaneous changing or mutation. As a result, these bacteria are not only upgrading with new genetic material but also improving their resistance to fight against antibiotics. These genetically altered bacteria are now preventing antibiotics from binding to the target site where the specific protein is located. In addition, in some cases, researchers also observed that resistant bacteria were preventing antibiotics from neutralizing the specific protein, even though they were attached to the target site.

As random changing or spontaneous mutation is one of the crucial reasons behind the antibiotic resistance, many scientists believe these random changes can produce a large number of target enzymes for antibiotics. Researchers assumed that this production of too many target enzymes is just to mislead or create obstacles for antibiotics from inactivating the entire. Moreover, some recent researches suggest that resistant bacteria can even produce dynamic enzymes, which may neutralize antibiotics and can also change the permeability of their cell wall to prevent antibiotics from binding to the target site.

What are the Real Threats for Next Generation?

Antibiotic selection Antibiotic resistance is an environmental or biological pressure for the bacteria to keep their existence from extinct. More frankly, if a bacterium fails to find out the survival techniques today, the next generation will obviously discover the techniques with improved genetic model. Consequently, the drugs that we are using now to kill or inhibit bacterial growth may not work in future.

As the bacteria are growing resistance to antibiotics, we need upgraded and more improved drugs to stop the harmful bacterial growth in our body. Although, the scientific studies and researches are running in full throttle to discover new and improved antibiotics, but the antibiotic resistance is underlying a significant risk and danger to our next generation. As the potential drugs are losing effectiveness, misuse of these potential drugs may lead us to a day when we will not find any alternative to stop these bacteria.

Although, biological pressure is a key factor for bacterial resistance to antibiotics, but we, humans, are also playing a big part behind the antibiotic resistance. Improper and over dosing of antibiotics, incorrect diagnosis, use of antibiotics as food additives, needless prescriptions from physicians, and frequent consumption of antibiotics in common infectious diseases -where these drugs are not greatly required- are the human made disturbances that are fueling bacteria to become resistant against antibiotics.

Many potential antibiotics have already lost their effectiveness over different gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Tetracycline and drugs of the first-generation and second-generation penicillin are the greatest example of drugs that have already lost effectiveness over several gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.

Medical References

  1. Pérez-Llarena FJ, & Bou G (2009). Beta-lactamase inhibitors: the story so far. Current medicinal chemistry, 16 (28), 3740-65 PMID: 19747143
  2. Bush K, Courvalin P, Dantas G, Davies J, Eisenstein B, Huovinen P. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2011 Nov 2;9(12):894-6. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2693. Tackling antibiotic resistance.
  3. Paphitou NI (2013). Antimicrobial resistance: action to combat the rising microbial challenges. International journal of antimicrobial agents, 42 Suppl PMID: 23684003
  4. Suk JE, Semenza JC. Am J Public Health. 2011 Nov;101(11):2068-79. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300181. Epub 2011 Sep 22. Future infectious disease threats to Europe.

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