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The use of antibiotics has advantages and disadvantages. Discuss.

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"The use of antibiotics has advantages and disadvantages. Discuss." In 1928 Alexander Fleming after coming home from holiday found (whilst sorting out glass plates with the bacteria staphylococcus) that one of the plates had a blue/green mould on it. It had a clear ring around it where the bacteria had been dissolved. The mould was penicillium notatum. Fleming after some research came to conclusion that a substance coming from the mould must have killed the bacteria, an antibiotic. The discovery was not noticed at the time, as it was extremely hard to isolate the penicillin but it's potential was there. Just as the Second World War had started two Oxford scientists managed to isolate and purify the penicillin in a new interest in the field of anti-bacterial drugs, this was because of the up and coming war. A programme in the USA saw the mass production and distribution of the drug it was known as the "wonder" drug amongst soldiers. ...read more.


Antibiotics such as penicillin, methicillin and flucloxacillin either compete for the same substrate therefore reducing the number of e-s complexes or break the hydrogen bonds of the enzyme's tertiary structure. Which will in turn deform the shape of the active site meaning it will not fit the substrate, leading to no e-s complexes being formed. When this happens the enzyme is said to be "de-natured" and this cannot be reversed. Even though antibiotics can be very effective in destroying bacteria, and the war against bacteria seemed to have been won they found in the 1960s that the bacteria were finding a way to fight back. A topic that has caused a lot of controversy and panic is the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. As Clegg describes in his Introduction to Advanced Biology there are two ways in which bacteria can resist antibiotic effects. The first to look at is the spontaneous mutation of a gene that gives the offspring new abilities in fighting back against antibiotics. ...read more.


This disadvantage of resistance to antibiotics causes a lot of worry in the scientific, political and public community. Although the resistance of antibiotics causes a lot of worry and controversy over the use of antibiotics, an argument of advantages to the use can put be forward through the successful treatment of chemotherapy. This process goes beyond the efforts of natural and artificial methods of destroying disease-causing microorganisms. Which the body's defence mechanism can be avoided by. It is the administration of chemical substances, natural or synthetic than kill/prevent reproduction of microorganisms by the inhibition of dividing malignant cells in cancer. These substances are classed as antibiotics as some of the substances are secreted by microorganisms and are selectively toxic to other microorganisms. Although these chemotherapeutic agents have had an enormous influence in controlling disease they have a major disadvantage. Every time a new one is used, resistant strains arise so further drugs have to be developed and produced. These new drugs should be used with restraint and discrimination according to Roberts, Reiss and Monger's Chemotherapy and antibiotics section of their Biology Principles and Processes textbook. Cary Aston ...read more.

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