What Antibiotic Resistance is: Everything You Need Know for your Health
Antibiotics are helpful medicines in the individuals and animal healthcare industry. These prevent and treat all most all bacterial infections. Antibiotic resistance is nowadays become a global treat to all individuals and animal health. In this article, you can learn what Antibiotic resistance is and how to manage it naturally. Continue your reading everything you should know about Antibiotic resistance and its advantages etc.
What is Antibiotic Resistance?
Antibiotics, as the name suggests, are drugs that fight microbes. They are known as “wonder drugs.” They are in use since a long time for both therapeutic and prophylaxis purposes. They can be cytoctoxic (destroying cells) or cytostatic (inhibiting cell growth) to microbes and trigger the body’s immune system to eliminate them form the body.
Antibiotic resistance is defined as a state where a drug loses its ability to curb bacterial growth the way it should. In other words, bacteria become resistant and continue to replicate even in the presence of the required dose of the antibiotics. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are the bacteria that replicates even when an antibiotic is present. When bacteria become resistant to the antibiotics, it requires a higher dose of the drug then what is required.
Why Does it Happen?
Antibiotics are a blessing to humans as they help them to combat infections and microbes. They target the microbes responsible for infection without affecting the host. Millions of newer classes of antibiotics have been produced in the last 60 years. Increased demand for antibiotics has caused off-labeled use of drugs.
However, irresponsible use of antibiotics has led to the advent of resistant strains. In this modern world, almost all antibiotics are available over-the-counter (can be bought without a prescription). This is the main reason for antibiotic resistance and can be curbed only by general awareness.
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How do Bacteria become Resistant to Antibiotics?
Antibiotics fight bacteria; therefore, bacteria have gradually evolved and developed a natural process to fight back that causes resistance. There are several mechanisms by which bacteria can do this.
Some neutralize the effect of the antibiotics, while others rapidly drive the antibiotics out. Moreover, some bacteria change the site of the antibiotics so that they cannot affect its function.
As mentioned above, antibiotics kill or inhibit bacterial growth. However, some bacteria do survive and these then become capable of neutralizing or escaping the effect of the antibiotic. One of the main reasons for this is the over-use of antibiotics and also not finishing the complete antibiotic course.
This survived bacterium can replicate and produce progeny, which is also antibiotic-resistant. Antibiotics create a selective pressure, where it kills the susceptible bacteria, and the resistant bacteria survives and multiplies.
In addition, it is seen that bacteria that were susceptible to an antibiotic can become resistant to it by a genetic mutation. Thus, their progeny can become resistant by acquiring pieces of DNA that code for resistance properties.
What can be done to Prevent Antibiotic Resistance?
The following precautions should be taken to prevent antibiotic resistance:
• Use an antibiotic only when recommended by a healthcare professional.
• Follow your doctor’s advice while using an antibiotic.
• Antibiotics are effective only against bacteria and not against viruses. Hence, antibiotics shouldn’t be taken for a viral cold or fever.
• Do not share leftover antibiotics. A particular antibiotic used by an individual might not be appropriate for someone else’s illness. Using an incorrect antibiotic cannot only cause resistance but it also delays cure.
Antibiotics are one of the greatest human inventions. However, their misuse is causing an increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Next time you are advised an antibiotic, follow the doctor’s instructions and do not share your antibiotic with anyone.