• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Should the widespread use of antibiotics continue?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Should the widespread use of antibiotics continue? History and the problem The first use of antibiotics has been recorded as the use of tetracycline, found in 1000 year old mummies (The antibiotic paradox, Dr. Stuart Levy). Penicillin, the fist-recorded discovery was in 1928 by Dr. Alexander Fleming, but it wasn't until Drs Florey and Chain began work that it became useable or even generated an interest. It wasn't until 1942 that penicillin was in a useful form: Name Date Penicillin 1942 Streptomycin 1943 Cephalosporins (discovered) 1945 Chloramphenicol 1947 Chlor-Tetracycline 1947 Methicillin 1960 Ampicillin 1961 Gentamycin 1963 Cephalosporins (developed) 1964 The problem with the widespread use antibiotics is that it leads to overuse and improper dosage. The problem with overuse aside from side effects - which include discolouration of enamel, liver and kidney failure and reduced bone growth, (from natural alternatives to antibiotics, By Dr. John McKenna) is the development of antimicrobal resistance. Antimicrobal resistance can occur in many ways, and can render antibiotics useless against resistant bacteria. ...read more.

Middle

While antibiotics may be loosing effectiveness and causing the birth of 'super bugs' they are still far cheaper and easier than the alternative (bringing people into hospitals and treating them with chemical drugs and other therapies) - in the short term. Because of resistant bacterial strains new antibiotics and new cures are needed. These cost millions of pounds in research and development, and eventually strains develop that are almost impossible to kill. The most important case study is Staphylococcus aureus, which used to be resistant to all antibiotic drugs but vancomycin and can be fatal. In May 1996, vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was infecting the surgical site of a four-year-old baby. Because Staphylococcus aureus is also resistant to antiseptics the boy was incredibly lucky to survive. Now VRSA also infects healthy people and not just people in hospitals (taken from New Scientist 23rd July 02). Because of bacteria like VRSA hospitals are now trying to use new technology such as air ionisers and more powerful irradiators, however effective drugs are desperately needed. ...read more.

Conclusion

(Taken from International Journal of Antimicrobal Agents by Wierup M Swedish Animal Health Service.). Even larger losses are predicted for beef and chicken industries worldwide. Also Pharmaceutical industries would see a huge drop in profits, as antibiotics are one of their key products. By stopping free use of antibiotics as a preventative means they face a huge sales drop (up to 60% of antibiotic sales). Economically this would mean huge profit losses and the need for mergers in the pharmaceuticals industry, resulting in higher drug prices due to the lack of competition. For the UK Government this would mean that hospitals would be even more expensive to run on top of the increases prices for new beds etc. needed to treat patients who could simply take antibiotic medicine. (Statistics taken from letskeepantibioticsworking.com) The widespread use of antibiotics should not continue as it has. The use on farms as a growth promoter should be stopped in order to reduce the number of strains of microbiotic resistant bacteria, which are a threat to everyone. However laws governing the research of antibiotics should be laxed. And hospitals need to use better aseptic techniques to prevent the creation of more 'super bugs'. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Living Things in their Environment section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Living Things in their Environment essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Research question - Is using dogs for work ethical?

    5 star(s)

    I believe that this question received this response because dogs benefit the workforce greatly and they are respected whilst they proceed in saving lives. The one person who said that they weren't sure was most likely because there was a possibility that the dogs can get injured whilst undertaking the jobs in the workforce.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    A2 Biology Coursework -Investigation into the effect of different concentrations of antibiotics on the ...

    4 star(s)

    During this experiment there many limitations, which are: * When I was using the cuvettes to measure the light absorbency using the colorimeter I had to use the same cuvettes after a solution from each test tube was measured. The only possible solution to this was to wash the cuvette

  1. Investigation - Examination of bacterial sensitivity on antibiotics.

    Use the sterilised glass spreader to spread the inoculated Ecoli in the petridish. (vii) After this, pass the glass spreader again through the flame before placing it back in the beaker with the alcohol. (viii) Take out the forceps in the alcohol and as before with the glass spreader, pass it through flame to sterilise.

  2. Investigating the effect of four antibiotic agents on gram positive and gram negative bacteria.

    Streptomycin is also used in humans to treat urinary tract infections, usually through intramuscular injections for seven to ten days, as it cannot be taken orally. Studies on rats indicate that the drug does not have the potential to cause cancer but side affects can include nausea, vomiting and even

  1. Evolution, Natural selection and Darwinism

    According to the multiregional model, modern humans evolved in many parts of the world from regional descendents of Homo erectus, who dispersed from Africa between 1and 2 millions years ago. (The boxed names indicate various fossils associated with each region.

  2. Extended Experimental Investigation - Natural Antibiotics

    Materials 36 Agar plates 15 Inoculating loops Confetti dots (several) Forceps Beaker (with measurements) Spatula Measuring pipette Sticky Tape Cloth Spray bottle of methylated sprits SAFETY ASPECTS - Disinfect bench before and after - Wash hands with Dettol soap before and after - No contact with bacteria - No coughing/sneezing

  1. The comparison of bacterial content in a range of milks.

    depend on the species one is trying to cultivate because nutritional requirements vary so greatly. Knowledge of a microorganism's normal habitat often is useful in selecting an appropriate culture medium because its nutritional requirements reflect its natural surroundings. Frequently a medium is used to select and grow specific microorganisms or to help identify a particular species.

  2. Branded Bleach is more effective at killing E. coli than Non branded bleach - ...

    Wash the work surface down using virkron spray and paper towels 3) Label six Petri dishes with initials, date, and the name of the bacteria, E.coli. 4) Set up and light a Bunsen burner 5) Measure out 10cm� of bleach-water solutions using graduated pipettes and 100 cm� beakers.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work