WHAT IS ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE?
Resistance to antibiotics can be defined as the ability of bacteria or other microbes to resist the action of antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance occurs as a result of changes in bacteria that reduces or removes the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals or other agents which are meant for the treatment or prevention of infections. This makes the bacteria to survive and continue to multiply, causing more damage.
WHY SHOULD I BE CONCERNED ABOUT ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE?Resistance to antibiotics has been identified as one of the most important public health issues in the world. Almost all types of bacteria have become stronger and have less reacted to antibiotic treatment when it is really needed. These antibiotic-resistant bacteria can quickly be transmitted to family members, colleagues from the class, and co-workers, threatening the community with a new strain of infectious disease which have proven to be stubborn to cure and more expensive to treat. As a result of this, antibiotic resistance to is one of the major CDC concerns. Antibiotic resistance has been found to result in major danger and suffering for both children and adults that have common infections that were once easily treated with antibiotics. Microbes can develop resistance to certain drugs. The common misconception is that the body of a person becomes resistant to certain medications. However, microbes, and not humans, become resistant to drugs. In the event that microbes become resistant to many drugs, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to cure the infections it causes. People with specific drug-resistant infections can pass this resistant infection to another person. In this way, a difficult to treat the disease can be transmitted from person to person. In some cases, the disease can lead to severe disability or death.
WHY ARE BACTERIA BECOMING RESISTANT TO ANTIBIOTICS?The use of antibiotics promote the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Whenever a person takes antibiotics, bacteria that are sensitive are killed, but resistant may be left untouched to grow and multiply. The major cause of the increase in drug-resistant bacteria is repeated and inappropriate use of antibiotics. Although antibiotics must be used to treat bacterial infections, they are not effective against viral infections such as colds, most inflammation of the throat and influenza. The widespread use of antibiotics encourages the spread of antibiotic resistance. When antibiotics are used in the normal way, this becomes essential to controlling the spread of resistance.
HOW DO BACTERIA BECOME RESISTANT TO ANTIBIOTICS?As mentioned above, antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in one way or the other so that it reduces or get rid of the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals; other agents which meant to cure or prevent infections. This results in survival and continues to the multiplication of the bacteria causing more damage. There are lots of mechanisms through which bacteria can achieve this. Some bacteria have the ability to neutralize the antibiotic before it becomes harmful to them, others can quickly get rid of the antibiotic, and others can change the position of the antibiotic attack so it cannot affect the functioning of the bacteria. The role of antibiotics is to kill or inhibit the growth of susceptible bacteria. Sometimes one of the bacteria survives this could be because it has the ability to neutralize or avoid the effects of antibiotics. This bacterium can then multiply and replace all killed bacteria. Exposure to antibiotics, therefore, ensures selective pressure, which is more likely to make surviving bacteria resistant. How should I use antibiotics to protect myself and my community from antibiotics resistance?
Here’s what you can do to prevent antibiotic resistance:
- Inform your doctor of your concerns about antibiotic resistance.
- Ask your doctor if you can take steps to make yourself feel better and get symptomatic relief without using antibiotics.
- Take the prescribed antibiotic according to the instructions of your healthcare professional.
- Be sure to dispose off the remnants of the medicine.
- Ask your doctor about vaccines recommended to you and your family to prevent infections that could require antibiotics.
- Never skip the dose.
- Never take an antibiotic for a viral infection such as cold or flu.
- Never force your doctor to prescribe an antibiotic.
- Never hold antibiotics during the next illness.
- Never take prescribed antibiotics from anyone else.
- Prescribing antibiotics only when it is likely to benefit the patient.
- Prescribing an antibiotic targeting the bacteria that most likely causes a patient’s disease, while the antibiotic will probably benefit.
- Encourage patients to use an antibiotic as instructed.
- Cooperate with each other, with office personnel and patients, to promote the appropriate use of antibiotics.