Antibiotic resistance: Read this before taking any medications

It may also increase the mortality rate as antibiotics may become ineffective in treating the medical condition.

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Last Updated on March 8, 2024 by The Health Master

Antibiotic resistance

New Delhi: Antibiotic resistance is rapidly increasing all over the world, threatening the effectiveness of antibiotics to treat common diseases.

Many diseases, including pneumonia, tuberculosis, E. coli, and gonorrhea, are becoming increasingly difficult to treat as antibiotic potency wears off.

Since antibiotics have played a critical role in medicine and healthcare, and have saved millions of people’s lives, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is causing a new epidemic in the health sector, which will affect many aspects of people’s lives in the near future.

When antibiotics are administered wrongly, the bacteria mutate and adapt, causing them to grow out of control and reproduce.

These mutated bacteria can then spread the newly created genetic traits to other bacteria to create a new strain of bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics and given the fact that antibiotics have revolutionized medicine, their improper or even inappropriate use is causing an impending crisis that cannot be ignored.

What causes antibiotic resistance?

The primary cause of antibiotic resistance is the overuse and misuse of antibiotics which in turn causes the production of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and microorganisms.

Other factors that contribute to it include a lack of cleanliness, poor infection management, and failure to complete the course of their antibiotic consumption.

What are the effects of antibiotic resistance on the health sector?

Antibiotic resistance may have a massive impact on the healthcare industry, resulting in extremely high medical costs and making sickness treatments more expensive and intensive.

It may also increase the mortality rate as antibiotics may become ineffective in treating the medical condition.

Where are antibiotic-resistant bacteria most likely to emerge?

The spread of antibiotic resistance is a natural occurrence caused by mutations in bacteria’s genes.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are more prone to emerging in hospitals, sewers, animal husbandry, and agriculture (where antibiotics are used) due to a lack of hygiene standards or infection control procedures.

The slow pace of the development of new, more potent antibiotics is another factor that is contributing to the fast development and spread of antibiotic resistance bacteria.

How do antibiotic-resistant bacteria spread?

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria can be transmitted to humans by direct contact with people who have been exposed; by animals and humans; or through contaminated food, water, and healthcare facilities.

Many of these places, such as animal farms and hospitals, administer antibiotic medications to prevent and treat infections, allowing these bacteria to mutate and spread.

Who are more susceptible to antibiotic resistance infections?

Everyone is at risk of having an antibiotic-resistant illness at some point in their lives. However, young children, cancer patients, and adults over the age of 60 are at the greatest risk of antibiotic-resistant infections.

One can try to limit the likelihood of developing antibiotic-resistant bacteria by avoiding unnecessary use of antibiotics and practicing good hygiene.

Interesting antibiotic fact:

  • Alexander Fleming made the original discovery of the antibiotic penicillin in the late 1920s. However, it wasn’t until the 1945s that antibiotics were mass-produced and used in the medical sector.
  • There are over 100 distinct kinds of antibiotics, but each one serves a particular function and treats a different illness
  • 70 percent of antibiotics marketed are used in animal husbandry.

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