Antibiotics altered the practice of medicine, making once deadly infections treatable. This has saved millions upon millions of lives. However, once treatable bacteria have become resistant the drug class antibiotics which also includes antivirals, antifungals, and antiparasitics. Antibiotic/Antimicrobial resistance is the ability of microbes to resist the effects of drugs. All types of bacteria have the ability to develop resistance to the drugs that have been created to destroy them, causing them to become drug resistant organisms. In the following chart from the Center for Disease control and prevention(CDC) article “About Antimicrobial Resistance” (2015, NP) shows the introduction years of antibiotics and the year antibiotic resistance was identified.
As the chart shows antibiotics have a very short treatment life before bacteria become resistant. Sir Alexander Fleming who discovered the first antibiotic penicillin warned in a Nobel Lecture “It is not difficult to make microbes resistant to penicillin in the laboratory by exposing them to concentration not sufficient to kill them, and the same thing has occasionally happened in the body” (11 December 1945. Pg. 11). So even with a warning in the beginning of antibiotic usage, humans still find themselves in the grips of an antibiotic resistant epidemic.
Antibiotic resistance is a major problem facing not only the United States of America, but the world. Mutation of bacteria has caused types bacteria to become resistance to antibiotics. Coupled with the lack of new and effective antibiotic being produced, this has led to once treatable infections becoming deadly. Among those multi-resistance bacteria that are causing the most havoc are Clostridium Diff...
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With more and more bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics everyday it is imperative that crucial action be taken now. If we fail to make the necessary changes to how antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, create new antibiotics, and stop the unnecessary use in agriculture we could possibly see the end of the antibiotic era. These changes could include better testing procedures for more accurate diagnosis of infections, new technologies, and stopping or limiting the use of antibiotics in agriculture practices. Without antibiotics people would once again live in a world where minor infections could be life threating. Public awareness of how antibiotics are use not only on patient’s bodies, but also in the food they consume is the key to making a future were deadly antibiotic resistant bacteria are not a threat.
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