Antibiotics and antibiotic resistance

Last Updated on January 16, 2020 by Sagar Aryal

Introduction

Throughout the world today, Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest health challenges we face. It’s an unending war for the human race. Antibiotics don’t work against common cold and flu viruses and are often unnecessary for some bacterial infections. Antibiotics save lives and are critical tools for treating a number of common and more serious infections. Any time antibiotics are used, they can cause side effects and lead to antibiotic resistance, one of the most urgent threats to the global public’s health at large.

What are antibiotics and antibiotic resistance?

Antibiotics are medicines used to treat or prevent infections caused by bacteria. They work by inhibiting the growth (bacteriostatic) or destroying the bacteria cell (Bactericidal), they do this in various ways, such as inhibition of bacterial cell wall (Penicillin, Cephalosporin, vancomycin, etc), inhibition of protein synthesis (Macrolides, Aminoglycosides, tetracyclines), Inhibition of DNA replication (Fluoroquinolones), Inhibition of Folate synthesis (Sulfonamides), etc.

Antibiotic resistance is the ability of a bacterium to resist the effects of medication that once could successfully treat the microbe. The term antibiotic resistance is a subset of Antimicrobial Resistance. Antibiotics are life-saving medications that we rely on to prevent and treat many infections caused by bacteria. But when bacteria are exposed to antibiotics, they adapt and develop characteristics that allow them to fend off or disable antibiotics. Greater exposure to antibiotics accelerates these changes when bacteria develop the ability to survive exposure to antibiotics designed to kill them or stop their growth such bacteria are not killed and will continue to multiply. Resistant bacteria are difficult, and sometimes impossible to treat. Examples include Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) producing bacteria, Penicillin-resistant Enterococcus, and Multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MDR-TB),

Throughout the world, generally, a growing number of infections are not responding to antibiotics. Tuberculosis, gonorrhea, and urinary tract infections are becoming harder, and sometimes impossible, to treat. In some countries, experts estimated huge thousands of illnesses per year result from resistant bacteria. Without effective antibiotics, other treatments will also become risky. Patients requiring surgery and chemotherapy will be poorly protected from the risks of life-threatening infections.

Antibiotics and antibiotic resistance

Image Source: THL

Six major causes of antibiotics resistance:

  • Over-prescription of antibiotics
  • Patients not finishing the entire antibiotic course
  • Overuse of antibiotics in livestock and fish farming
  • Poor infection control in health care settings
  • Poor hygiene and sanitation
  • Absence of new antibiotics being discovered

Global Antibiotic resistance implication

The consequences of Antibiotic resistance is highly problematic because of its severity

  • Leads to higher medical costs
  • Prolonged hospital stays
  • Increased mortality.

What you can do! Everyone can take some simple actions

One of the best ways to combat antibiotic resistance is to ask questions: will an antibiotic help? Patients, talk to your prescriber. Practitioners, consult guidelines and experts in optimal prescribing.

Do’s and Dont’s of Antibiotics

  • Do not use antibiotics to treat viral infections, such as influenza, the common cold, a runny nose or a sore throat. Ask your doctor for other ways to feel better.
  • Use antibiotics only when a doctor prescribes them.
  • When you are prescribed antibiotics, take the full prescription even if you are feeling better. Ensure that members of your family do the same.
  • Never share antibiotics with others or use leftover prescriptions.
  • Remember, each time you take an antibiotic when it is not necessary, the effectiveness of the antibiotic decreases and it might not work the next time you really need it.

Sources

  • 9% – https://antibioticwise.ca/topics/antibiotic-awareness-week/
  • 7% – http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/disease-prevention/antimicrobial-resistance/news/news/2012/11/antibiotic-resistance-a-growing-threat/how-to-reduce-the-spread-of-antibiotic-resistance
  • 5% – https://www.yourgenome.org/facts/what-is-antibiotic-resistance
  • 3% – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329104297_Mode_of_Antibiotic_Resistance
  • 3% – https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/community/pdfs/aaw/AU_trifold_8_5x11_508.pdf
  • 3% – https://ph.news.yahoo.com/warning-vs-antibiotic-resistance-170126088.html
  • 3% – https://jg-tc.com/announcements/antibiotics-can-t-kill-the-common-cold/article_8244208a-5d9e-5ab9-8467-e18d3198782d.html
  • 3% – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antibiotic_resistant
  • 3% – https://cadth.ca/additional-precautions-methicillin-resistant-staphylococcus-aureus-vancomycin-resistant-enterococci
  • 3% – https://antibioticawareness.ca/
  • 3% – http://www.abnursing.ca/our-blog/antibiotic-awareness-week-nov-18-24
  • 2% – https://www.netdoctor.co.uk/ask-the-expert/infection-faqs/a27503/antibiotic-resistance/
  • 2% – https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/about.html
  • 2% – https://basicmedicalkey.com/bacterial-folate-antagonists-fluoroquinolones-and-other-antibacterial-agents-2/
  • 1% – https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/oct/16/antibiotic-resistance-routine-surgery-impossible-study
  • 1% – https://www.commonsensewithmoney.com/10-dos-donts-taking-antibiotics/
  • 1% – https://quizlet.com/99850879/pharm-exam-2-key-antibiotic-information-flash-cards/
  • 1% – https://infectioncontrol.tips/2015/11/18/6-factors-that-have-caused-antibiotic-resistance/
  • 1% – http://www.lancet.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/World-Antibiotic-Awareness-Newsletter.pdf
  • 1% – http://infectioncontrol.tips/2015/11/18/6-factors-that-have-caused-antibiotic-resistance/?format=pdf
  • 1% – http://bsj.berkeley.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/hoa.pdf

Antibiotics and antibiotic resistance

58 thoughts on “Antibiotics and antibiotic resistance”

  1. Most times, I take left over of my antibiotics prescription. Now, I know it’s bad to do.

    I learnt so much much from the Do’s and Don’t…

    Now, I’m gonna take precautions on my use of antibiotics…. Literally, I even use antibiotics to care for cold and catarrh.. It sometimes work for me, now I know it’s wrong though..

    Great write up… It’s as if the article is just for me.

    Reply
  2. Thumbs up man. Humanity has suffered for too long due to lack of proper orientation on the use of drugs especially antibiotics. Thanks for shedding more light on the use

    Reply
    • Despite the fact that Antibiotics save lives and are critical tools for treating a number of common and more serious infections, yet we must uphold it’s judicious usage.

      Reply
  3. Thanks for shedding more light to this topic, it’s well explain. My question is that what can we used to treat viral infection like common cold? Because you stated under the do’s and don’t of antibiotics that we shouldn’t use it,in a situation where by you don’t know what doctor prescribed for you, how can you tell him/her not to give you antibiotics?

    Reply
    • Dear Oseni Abosede,

      In most viral infections, treatments can only help with symptoms while you wait for your immune system to fight off the virus. Antibiotics do not work for viral infections. Although there are antiviral medicines to treat some viral infections. Vaccines can help prevent you from getting many viral diseases.

      However your Doctor is in the best position to recommend best medication

      Thank you for your thoughtfulness.

      Kindly get back to me should in case you have any more question on Antibiotics Prescription

      Reply
  4. This is a very educative and informative article. The scourge of antibiotics resistance and the need for a collaborative effort to stem the tide cannot be overemphasised. We all mure be involved. Great work sir

    Reply
    • Thank you so much Doctor Abiola,

      Every body should see this stewardship as a mandate. Am glad you are informed, keep sharing.

      Reply
  5. This is explicit and very educating. The awareness of over usage/abuse of antibiotics should be spread across the nook and cranny. Thanks for this beautiful write up.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much, Mr Hissau Monsur,

      I am glad you know much about awareness as an important core aims of public health, keep sharing the information.

      Thanks

      Reply
    • Dear Emovon Folusho,

      Thank you so much for the compliment, We hope to keep you informed on the Prevalence of Antibiotics Resistance.

      Reply
    • Dear Ogunbiyi Opeyemi

      I am happy that you have learn two or more new information via this platform, Kindly share with others to keep them informed. Thank you

      Reply
  6. Information is truly powerful when disseminated in the right quarters like you have done. Keep up the good work. I have learn a thing or two, and won’t let it stop here, I will share with others who needs to read this too.

    Reply
    • Dear Oyelade Olusayo,

      I am happy that you have learn two or more new information via this platform, Kindly share with others to keep them informed. Thank you sir

      Reply
    • Despite the fact that Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health,yet we all need to keep each other informed. Thank you

      Reply
  7. With the discovery and coming up of Global Antibiotics Resistance, the future of the world health care sector is not only bleak but also in danger. Hence all hands must be on deck to reverse this dangerous trend for sake of humanity.

    Reply
    • Just like you said, the future of the world health care is in danger, We all need to fight this battle for the coming generation.

      Reply
    • Awareness is part of the core aims of public health, We all need to be informed about the Prevalence of Antibiotics resistance

      Reply
    • Best regards.Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to Public health, we must keep each other informed

      Reply
    • Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today. Thanks for reading through

      Reply
  8. This antibiotics resistant is a topic that can not be over emphasized. This particular exposition on Antibiotics resistance by Mr. Simeon K. Olatunde made me to be more acquainted on antibiotics use and it’s abuse. Thanks sir

    Reply
    • CDC has updated the estimated number of infections with antibiotic resistance per year from 2 million to nearly 3 million.” The fact that so many bacteria are not responding to first- or even second-line treatments means that people with these infections face much higher risks and poorer health outcomes

      Reply
  9. A pragmatic approach to basic knowledge about Antibiotics and Antibiotics Resistance. Worth sharing to all science students, family and friends.

    Reply

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