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There are many antibiotics that have been made to either directly kill the bacteria in our body or make the bacteria weak in order for our immune system to kill them. Over the time span of a decade or so, the scientists and researchers are figuring out that many bacteria have evolved themselves in order to survive some of the antibiotics that the doctors prescribe. This discovery could cause a serious problem when an antibiotic is prescribed in the future and does not affect the bacteria; constantly, it could worsen the health of a person. There are many reasons why the bacteria are mutating themselves. We are also going to talk about ways the bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, as well as reasons on how bacteria are able to mutate and survive antibiotics and how we can prevent it.
Bacteria's are microscopic single cells, which are found anywhere: in air, soil, water, in and on plants and animals and on skin. There are also super bacteria which are known as super bugs. These bacteria have grown resistance to more than one antibiotic (Arias 2009). A doctor prescribes an antibiotic for fighting an infection caused by bacteria. When these antibiotics fail to destroy the bacteria, they prescribe even stronger antibiotics (Handel 2009). Antibiotics are the medicines that help the body to fight bacteria and viruses, either by directly killing or weakening them so that our immune system can fight and kill them more easily (Reddy 1997). Most of the antibiotics that are made are used for fighting the bacteria. Even though there are millions of bacteria, scientists have made only half dozens of antibiotics to fight the bacteria (Reddy 1997).
There are several ways that the bacteria can become resistant to an antibiotic. One way is that the bacteria have the ability to mutate themselves. Even the toughest antibiotic treatments will not affect them once they are resistant to that antibiotic. The scientists are concerned that the misuse of antibiotics has created this situation. When an antibiotic is prescribed, the patient starts using it. When the patient feels better, he/she stops using the antibiotics before finishing the full course. This can cause bacteria to reproduce, sickening the person again (Scott 2009). Sometimes the parents request the doctor to prescribe the antibiotic that their children really do not need and the doctors feel pressured to prescribe unnecessary prescriptions. Some scientists believe that the antibacterial soaps and cleaning liquids that people buy are also to blame for bacteria being resistant to drugs. People buy these products because they believe that it may help to prevent bacterial infections. Resistance to antibiotics involves change in the bacteria's genes (Handel 2008). Bacterial genes mutate, just like the genes of human beings (Reddy 1997). If the mutated bacterium is around when the antibiotic is around, the bacteria will mutate themselves even further so it can be more resistant to the antibiotic (Reddy 1997). "Antibiotics are associated with the side-effects, which are usually tolerated because the benefits of treatment outweigh the toxic effects" (Dancer 2004). The toxic effects are additional effects that can cause overgrow in resistant microorganisms (Dancer 2004). This overgrowth can precipitate itself as a secondary infection which is harder to treat (Dancer 2004). Just like how we use antibiotics to treat human beings, we also use antibiotics to promote growth in animals which they also need for treatment (Burgos 2005). Before the discovery of antibiotics, soiled bacteria were enjoying a balanced existence (Dancer 2004). After the huge rise in the consumption of antibiotics, the negative effects on soil and water organisms can be seen (Dancer 2004).
The bacteria are becoming more resistant to Maxifloxcin which is considered as the last resort when all antibiotics fail, may very well threaten its future viability to treat serious and life threatening bacterial infections (Wood 2009). The bacteria also integrate the DNA that they have captured from invading enemies into their own genetic makeup to increase their chances of survival (Wood 2009). In E.Coli bacteria, it busts open and dies, releasing all those new viruses to infect more cells (Sullivan 2006). The antibiotic resistant bacteria are also found in "BIOFILMS". A biofilm is a protective and adhesive slime that is created by bacteria that have joined together (Wood 2009). The National Institute of Health had estimated that about 90 percent of infections in humans are caused by biofilms (Wood 2009). At sewage plants, operators' intentionally create conditions, which promote growth of microorganisms in wastewater because they break down organic matter (McGlashen 2009). In water, the bacteria have plenty of food to eat, these beneficial bacteria grow and reproduce very quickly and also more harmful bacteria grow (McGlashen 2009). Before the bacteria can build resistance to an antibiotic, they have to be exposed to it first. Treatment plants use chlorine or UV light or both chlorine and UV light to kill these microorganisms that are harmful to humans (McGlashen 2009). However, the resistant bacteria or super organisms in the treated sewage wind up in rivers and other waters, potentially infecting people with infections that are difficult to treat (McGlashen 2009). The presence of multidrug resistant enteric bacteria in dairy farm topsoil is an emerging and serious public health concern (Burgos 2005). The fact that antibiotics are degraded in natural ecosystems does not mean that they are not relevant pollutants (Martinez 2009). There is a detection of antibiotic resistant heterotrophic bacteria inhibiting the sand of non-recreational marine beach in the National Park of southern Baltic Sea coast, these bacteria demonstrated low levels of antibiotic resistance in them (Mudryk 2010).
Recently a bacterial infection called Methicillin resistant staphylococcus Aureus also known as MRSA, scientist labeled this bacterium as a superbug (Cesar 2009). This bacterium lives on our skin. For years the treatment of this infection was Penicillin but the bacteria have become resistant to Penicillin and newer drugs (Cesar 2009). Methicillin became the drug of choice for superbug MRSA infections, but since the bacteria are growing resistant to this drug it is making it more difficult to treat this infection (Cesar 2009). As you can tell drug resistant germs are becoming more common in the world. The Government report found that death tied to bacterial infections may exceed those caused by AIDS (Cesar 2009). This shows how the antibiotic resistant bacteria are causing and are going to cause serious problems in the future.
Resistance to antibiotics has become one of the greatest threats to the success of modern medicine. The scientists are no longer sure that any antibiotic will work empirically because of antibiotic resistant bacteria. We do not know how to reduce resistance without discontinuing the use of antibiotics or reduce the use to antibiotics (Scott 2009). We also do not know how to protect the few remaining antibiotics to treat resistant infections (Scott 2009). In addition, we need to research more antibiotics to treat these infections. The other ways are the natural antibiotics and the development of vaccine. Tea Tree oil is a substance that is made from the leaves of the native Australian Meleleuca Alternifolia tree (Puotinen 2000). Unlike the regular antibiotics, tea tree oil is effective against yeasts and fungi in addition to bacterial infections and viral eruptions (Puotinen 2000). There are many herbs and oils that can kill different types of bacteria as well as viruses. Instead of antibiotics, vaccines have also saved countless lives over the last few centuries. The antibiotics have not shown to create mutations in the viruses they are preventing (Puotinen 2000). As a result, scientists are now debating whether or not vaccines can come into play in treating bacterial infections so that we can reduce the usage of antibiotics.
It is commonly assumed that the infections are treated with the action of drug and immune response. If the immune system retains its strength, it reduces the emergence of resistant bacteria (Handel 2008). If an antibiotic drug concentration can be maintained at the right level, the chances of the bacterium to be resistant to the antibiotic will be reduced (Handel 2008). The bacterium slowly becomes immune to the antibiotics and has to be treated with stronger antibiotics. Bacteria become super-bacteria or super bugs and become resistant to those antibiotics. To treat human beings, the scientist's research newer ways of treatment and this process is going on. People are resorting to natural means of antibiotics and researching to invent vaccinations for the bacteria.