Monday, 13 September 2010

Resistance: Fall of Man ?

Antibiotics resistance in bacteria is growing to be a large problem and will most likely grow even more in the future. Current research seem to agree, it is caused by over-use of antibiotics and incomplete treatments. Bacteria develop resistance randomly over time, however when exposed to antibiotics this gives a huge evolutionary advantage. If one organism develops immunity to a certain antibiotic agent when it is present, the competing organisms will die and leave the resistant bacteria with great opporunity to grow and procreate, thuse spreading its DNA. If the antibiotic compound is not present, this resistance is not a factor giving an evolutionary advantage. Thus, using antibiotics when they are not needed may increase chances of increased growth of resistant bacteria. One problem here is that many doctors prescribe antibiotics for viral infections; antibiotics is not effective against viruses.

To be on the safe side for the future there are several antibiotic compound that have been developed, but are not used on humans. So in the case of bacteria with broad resistance we have at least some alternatives. However, what is scary is that they are to some extent used in animals, giving opportunities for development of resistance.

Will a pandemic of antibiotic resistant bacteria be our downfall?

Share on Facebook

No comments: