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Antibiotic Resistance and How to Prevent It

Updated on May 15, 2019
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Antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic is not a recent term to us. Commercial production of antibiotics was started in 1940s and since then antibiotics have been used in treating various types of bacterial infections.

Currently, almost 70% of all the antibiotics that are produced all over the world, are used mainly for treating live stock animals. And the remaining 30% are used for treating human patients. But this estimation is different for different countries. For example in the USA, 80% antibiotics are used for treating live stock animals and 20% of antibiotics are used for treating human patients.

Why antibiotic resistance occurs ?

There are many reasons why antibiotic resistance occurs. Underdeveloped living conditions, illiteracy about the antibiotics, easy access to the antibiotics, environmental pollution etc. are mainly responsible for this crisis in the developing and under developed countries, where most of the antibiotic resistance occurs.Using too much antibiotics in live stock animals can also cause the antibiotic resistance phenomena.

How bacteria become resistance to antibiotics ?

We know that, genes maintain all the functions of the body. Genes encodes proteins and the proteins do all the cell's work. Now, if a bacteria mutate it's gene to produce such a protein that can bind to the antibiotic molecule and thus inactivates it, then that particular antibiotic won't work against that specific bacteria and this is how antibiotic resistance occurs.

Pic: How antibiotic resistance occurs
Pic: How antibiotic resistance occurs | Source
Pic: How antibiotic resistance spreads
Pic: How antibiotic resistance spreads | Source

Antibiotic resistance and the future

There is a term named "Superbug", which means a microbe or a organism that is resistance to more than one type of antibiotics. If such superbugs emerges, then it will be very difficult for us to treat the infections caused by them. Epidemics will break out.

According to a study, in the USA, about 80% of all the gut E.coli stains (the E.coli strains that are found in the gut) are resistance to two or more antibiotics. This rate is increasing at an alarming rate day by day.


How prevention can be done at various levels

1. Rules and regulations have to be generated on the use of antibiotics.

2. Antibiotics usage should be minimized.

3. Duration of antibiotic usage should be minimized.

4. The people should be made aware of antibiotics.

5. The antibiotics should only be used when prescribed by a doctor who is an expert in the field.

6. The full course should be completed, if the antibiotic is prescribed.

7. In the agricultural sector, the live stock animals have to be vaccinated to prevent any infection and the farmer should be careful about the disposal of animal waste directly in the environment, if that animal is treated with antibiotics.

8. In the hospitals, proper regulations should be maintained so that the antibiotics will not be released into the environment.

9. Hygienization is the most important thing to combat antibiotic resistance.

10. The policies, laws and guidelines about antibiotic usage should be maintained strictly.

© 2019 Bishajit Sarkar

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