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Antibiotics - Cure or Cause of infection?

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´╗┐Antibiotics ? Cure or Cause of infections? WHAT ARE ANTIBIOTICS AND HOW DO THEY WORK? In 1953 Selman Waksman defined antibiotics as ?chemical substances, produced by microorganisms, which can inhibit the growth and destroy bacteria and other microorganisms, in dilute solution?. Microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) such as Penicillum Notatum, are thought to produce antibiotics to help them compete against other microorganisms, for resources such as food and space. Humans have also found them very useful when trying to get rid of bacteria. Antiboitics work by preventing biological processes which are specific to bacteria, therefore preventing bacterial growth and division. Because the antibiotic is specific to bacteria, it does not affect the eukaryotic cells found in the host; therefore a person can take the antibiotic with no ill effects. The main ways antibiotics work are: 1. ...read more.


Bacteriostatic antibiotics prevent multiplication. This includes antibiotics affecting nucleic acid and other methods of multiplication. For example inhibited protein synthesis would mean not enough material to divide and make a new bacterial cell with. The immune system can then destroy these non-multiplying bacteria. BACTERIAL CELL STRUCTURE ANTIBIOTICS CAUSE REISTANCE Antibiotics have been used by humans as a miracle cure since the discovery of penicillin. However, due to their liberal use, many pathogenic bacteria have evolved resistance and we are now faced with dangerous diseases such as HIV, MRSA and TB. Bacteria have evolved resistance to antibiotics extremely quickly (in evolutionary terms). This is because? 1. They reproduce very quickly, leading to populations often found in the billions. With an average of 1 mutation per 100,000 genes, we can expect thousands of mutations in just one population of bacteria. ...read more.


This highly resistant bacterium has been controlled with linezolid however it evolved resistance to that in less than 2 years ? the antibiotic had barely been used. The bacterium is continually evolving resistance to any new drugs. When someone gets MRSA in a hospital they must be isolated from other patients. They will be treated with a 7-14 day course of antibiotics by needle and the selection of the antibiotic can depend on tests done on the bacteria, and the area you live in, as different areas of the country contain MRSA with different sensitivities to certain antibiotics. However it is preferable to prevent the development and spread of MRSA, therefore infection control in hospitals is a high priority. HOW TO PREVENT ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE By prescribing antibiotics only when needed, completing the full course of antibiotics and through good infection control we can slow down the evolution of the bacteria. However, preventing resistance is most likely impossible therefore the development of new antibiotics is essential. ...read more.

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