Imagine a world where bacteria run rampant with no means to control them. Trivial infections would result in death and communicable diseases would create incurable plagues. Many lives would be lost over illnesses that used to be easily defeated with antibiotics. Welcome to the future, “a future which rips one of the greatest tools of medicine out of the hands of doctors” (Gallangher, 2015), the “post-antibiotic era.” Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria experience genetic changes allowing them to survive an antibiotic that would have previously eliminated them, whether it is caused by a natural mutation or lateral gene transfer— “the acquisition of a gene from another unrelated bacterium” (Smith, M’ikonatha, & Read, 2015). Bacterial resistance arose with the foundation of antibiotics, Smith, et al. (2015) state antibiotic resistance began in the 1940’s soon after the first antibiotic was prescribed. Twenty more were introduced by 1960 and unfortunately evolving bacteria developed resistant strains to each of them as well. Although antibiotic resistance is not a new idea, it has become a serious phenomenon. Antibiotic Resistance is a medical apocalypse waiting to happen, because health care providers will have to rely on alternative medicines and many patients, as well as animals, will no longer be able to be treated.
“Antibiotic resistance is a looming public health crisis” (Landers, Cohen, Wittum, & Larson, 2012). Bacterial resistance is prevalent everywhere, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2016), “Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a di...
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...es of antibiotic resistant genes in animals have revealed that their gut microbiome is a reservoir of antibiotic resistant genes, and that resistant bacteria and resistant genes are shared between human and animal microbiomes.” This happens because of repeated exposure. Bacteria that are local to the stomach of animals are evolving and becoming strong enough to survive the antibiotics used to keep the animal healthy. The animal is then harboring more harmful bacteria and when the animal is processed into meat products the bacteria still exist. Even after the meat is cooked the bacteria can still be present, resulting in them infecting humans after to consumption. If animals are continued to be over medicated to try to prevent illness and to speed their growth process it will soon result in them no longer being able to be cured of illness or used for food period.
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