Bacterial Resistance Essay, Research Paper
Bacterial resistance is a problem that has profoundly impacted the medical community. Bacterial resistance results when bacteria become resistant to individual antibiotics through the development of specific defense mechanisms which render the antibiotic ineffective. This problem has become evident in recent years as numerous cases have been reported in which antibiotics are not effective against the bacteria that they have fought off for years. The recent troubles with bacterial resistance have caused panic throughout the United States. The pharmaceutical industry hasn?t been producing many antibiotics because they thought that the antibiotics they had created had solved many of the problems resulting from bacterial infections. An increasing amount of attention has been given to antibiotic resistance with each passing year and experts are optimistic for the future; however, the threat of bacterial resistance exists today and is a major cause for concern.
The discovery of penicillin the 1940s proved to be the dawn of the antibiotic era. In less than two decades, major advancements had been made in the development of antibiotics. There were so many different antibiotics developed that doctors and scientists focused their attention on other problems plaguing the nation. Doctors prescribed antibiotics frequently, often when they were not even needed. According to a 1998 report by the Institute of Medicine, up to fifty percent of antibiotics are prescribed unnecessarily. This blatant overuse of antibiotics had a profound effect on the efficiency of the drugs in the future. The wonder drugs that had been so effective in treating an array of diseases had started to lose the battle against increasingly resistant bacteria, often referred to as superbugs.
The problem of bacterial resistance is rooted in the overuse of many antibiotics. Doctors used antibiotics to treat countless diseases and some bacteria became resistant to the drugs after time. The problem of antibacterial resistance is of gigantic proportions and there is much that needs to be done to alleviate this problematic situation. Both normal and mutant bacteria replicate at an astounding rate. The antibiotics can easily wipe out the normal bacteria but the mutant bacteria are left unharmed and they prosper as a result. Superbugs flourish in hospitals as they serve as a breeding ground for harmful superbugs. Thousands of patients each year develop bacterial infections in hospitals and the increased resistance could have a significant effect on many patients.
Illnesses such as Tuberculosis have started to afflict an increasing amount of people each year. Diseases that had practically been eradicated from industrialized nations such as the United States. The resistant bacteria originate with mutations that have occurred over time, allowing the resistant bugs to survive while the normal bacteria were killed. The mutated bacteria also would often exchange its DNA with other bacteria, allowing even more resistant bacterium to be formed. The number of cases in which antibiotics are ineffective has risen significantly each year. The question that remains is whether the medical community can thwart the rising problem or does a worldwide pandemic loom in the future.
The medical community has responded to the increasing threat of bacterial resistance. Pharmaceutical companies have begun to aggressively create and test future antibiotics and more antibiotics are expected to be made available each year. The threat still remains however and the need for alternate solutions is evident. Bacterial resistance is not something that will disappear in a few years; it will perpetually remain a topic of interest. Future resistant bacterium can be slowed with a few simple measures. Antibiotics must be prescribed carefully, only after it is made sure that they are necessary. Patients must also follow the advice of their physicians and strictly adhere to the directions given to them for dosage. The problem of bacterial resistance has become the focus of many scientists in recent years and it will continue to be monitored with extreme concern.