What Can We Do About Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria? Lab Report

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Antibiotics were once called 'wonder drugs' because of their ability to fight some of the most serious diseases plaguing humankind. However, just as other species have changed through natural selection, bacteria that are resistant to Antibiotics have survived and reproduced in greater number than less resistant strains. Slower development of new antibiotics and a spike in antibiotic prescriptions has precipitated the evolution of hardier and more virulent strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (2005) antibiotic-resistant bacteria develop when mutant strains of resistant bacteria survive a treatment, and "that one bacterium can then multiply and replace all the bacteria that were killed off. Exposure to antibiotics therefore provides selective pressure, which makes the surviving bacteria more likely to be resistant. In addition, bacteria that were at one time susceptible to an antibiotic can acquire resistance through mutation of their genetic material or by acquiring pieces of DNA that code for the resistance properties from other bacteria."

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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are dangerous because these "bacteria are able to cause serious disease and this is a major public health problem. Important examples are methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and multi-drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MDR-TB)," which have become epidemic in many healthcare environments when large numbers of ill people are in contact with one another ("Antibiotic-resistant bacteria," Better Health Channel. 2009). Unless proper precautions are taken, patients and healthcare providers alike can become unwitting transmitters of diseases.

TOPIC: Lab Report on What Can We Do About Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria? Assignment

Patients and doctors both share some of the blame for the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Doctors may prescribe an antibiotic for what is likely to be a viral infection (which cannot be cure by an antibiotic) to placate a demanding patient, and patients may want to take an antibiotic, even when it is likely to be ineffective 'just in case' they might have a bacterial infection.

Materials and Methods:

The experiment was conducted on a 'macro' population level as well as a micro population level. To confirm that… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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