Report on Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Essay

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Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

The Prevalence and Threat of Antibiotic Resistance Bacteria

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The rate at which bacteria are becoming resistant to drug treatments that are intended to eliminate or weaken them is growing rapidly. For over half a century, antibiotic drugs have been prescribed to treat bacterial infections, and as their medical popularity was mounting, bacteria and microorganisms developed ways to withstand the effects of antibiotic drugs. The increasing amount of antibiotic resistant bacteria poses a severe threat to global health as it compromises the effectiveness of antibacterial treatment, contributing to greater incidence of bacterial infection, fatalities, and health care expenses (1). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 444,000 new cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis alone surface every year, and are responsible for causing at least 150,000 deaths (2). Researchers explain that the excessive use and misuse of antibiotics has been the major contributor in causing drug resistance, as disproportionate exposure to antibiotics forced microorganisms to evolve to evade harsh environments (1, 2). The prevalence and the threat of antibiotic resistance is so severe, the WHO explains the global population is at risk of returning to a pre-antibiotic era in terms of incidence of illness (2). In addition to vulnerable immune systems, antibiotic resistance has implications on health care costs, trade, and economies (2). Rational use of antibiotics, infection prevention and control, and patient safety are all required measures to combat the current threat of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Mechanism of Resistance

TOPIC: Essay on Report on Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Assignment

Antibiotic resistant bacteria emerged as an evolutionary response to natural selection. As bacteria are exposed to recurrent, low doses of antibiotics, that are not potent enough to kill all of the bacteria, some bacteria develop ways to survive the intended effects of the drug (1, 3, 4). The misuse and overuse of antibiotics have intensified the problem by giving bacteria the opportunity to evolve. Inappropriate doses and treatment lengths can leave bacteria in the body, even if the patient no longer has symptoms, and allows for the remaining bacteria to pass on their resistant traits to future bacteria generations (3). Bacteria are able to fight the effects of antibiotic drugs is by altering their biochemistry. Bacteria can prevent antibiotics from reaching their target cells by changing the structure of their cell walls, and keep the antibiotic drug from entering the cell (3). Bacteria can also develop biochemical methods to pump drugs outside of the cell, or produce enzymes that destroy the antibiotics (3).

Bacteria gain these drug resistance properties by receiving resistance DNA genes from other bacteria (3). Bacteria DNA evolves in order to give bacteria the biological tools to escape the affects of antibiotic drugs. Once bacteria have antibiotic-resistant DNA, they are able to pass these resistance genes to other bacteria in various ways: bacteria can join together and transfer DNA to each other; free-floating pieces of DNA, called plasmids, which carry resistance genes are taken-in by bacteria; or pieces of DNA from one bacterium are incorporated into another (3). The mechanism by which resistant and non-resistant bacteria transfer genes is depicted in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Drug resistant bacteria transfer genes to non-resistant bacteria, causing drug resistant bacteria to dominate and multiply (4).

The ability for bacteria to multiply quickly is conducive to rapid evolution (in comparison to other species), which causes several generations of antibiotic resistant bacteria to be introduced into the population.

Incidence of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

Antibiotic resistance is acknowledged as one of the most significant threats to human health worldwide, and does not discriminate between First World or Third World nations (5). Antibiotic resistance enables bacteria and microorganisms to escape being killed or weakened by antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal drugs (5). This compromises physicians' ability to treat life-threatening infections, and leads to increased incidence of infection and fatalities. The emergence of drug resistant bacteria is increasing across the globe. The WHO reports 440,000 new cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) are reported annually, and cause at least 150,000 deaths (2). Studies published from the developing world suggested the risks of drug resistance decades ago; however, it was not until MDR-TB surfaced in the United States in the 1990s that the problem of drug resistant bacteria received its due attention (6).

Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis is only the beginning of a… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Report on Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Report on Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria.  (2012, March 31).  Retrieved August 4, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Report on Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria."  31 March 2012.  Web.  4 August 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Report on Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria."  March 31, 2012.  Accessed August 4, 2021.