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Drug Resistance

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Every year, antibiotic-resistant bacteria are threatening more and more people. As much of a problem as it is, many people are not educated on the term drug resistance. Since it is such a growing concern, it becomes confusing as to why drug resistance is occurring and what can be done to prevent it. Because drug resistance is such a health problem, determining what it is, how these bacteria can acquire the antimicrobial agents, and the possible solutions to the resistance are the types of actions that need to be taken in order to have a better understanding of how truly powerful these drug resistant bacteria are.
Drug resistance is the capability for a microbe, such as bacteria, to continue to grow even in the presence of an antimicrobial, which was meant to halt the growth or kill the microbe. In this particular instance, the antimicrobial is rendered unusable when trying to treat or cure a specific infection. As a result, the drug becomes ineffective due to the resistance that the microbe has developed toward it. The reason this occurs is because of a gene that certain microbes possess, which allow it to become resistant toward the antimicrobial. Bacteria can develop this resistance through mutations as well as when a bacteria obtains a new DNA helicase. When there is a mutated bacterium, the antimicrobial, in many cases, has a problem recognizing the genetic material of the bacteria. This being said, if the antimicrobial does not have the chance to locate the binding site on the bacterial DNA, the drug will not have the chance to act. Fluroquinolones are a perfect example of how bacteria can develop resistance through resistance. Fluroquinolones cannot bind to the enzymes DNA gyrase and Topoisomerase if these enzymes are mut...

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...ed in the case of the antibiotic known as vancomycin. In order to treat the vicious bacterium, the drug vancomycin was introduced with hope to provide a therapy for the infection. However, eventually a resistant gene toward this drug emerged and began to spread throughout hospitals. “These strains, known as vancomycin-resistant S. aureus (VRSA), we progeny of MRSA that had acquired a set of five genes that travel together as a “cassette” and confer vancomycin” (Walsh & Fishbach, 2009). Unfortunately, the enzyme located in the resistant gene of the bacteria allows the target to change, which does not permit the binding of vancomycin. Obviously MRSA and VRSA pose a huge dilemma as both bacteria can be spread fairly easily and the resistant gene is so potent that even drugs that would be considered “last resort” develop troubles when it comes to trying to treat them.
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