When bacteria develop resistance to a particular antibiotic, they will no longer be susceptible to it. This can lead to problems such as infections or even death. The most common examples of antibiotic-resistant bacteria are methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, penicillin-resistant Enterococcus, and multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MDR-TB). MDR-TB can develop into XDR-TB, or extensively drug-resistant M. tuberculosis, which requires a combination of five drugs to treat the infection.
The emergence of antibiotics-resistant bacteria is the result of widespread antibiotic use. Inappropriate use of antibiotics has contributed to the emergence of resistance throughout the world. Antibiotics are freely available over the counter and on the internet, allowing non-prescribers to access them. Failure to follow infection-control measures and poor hygiene also facilitate the spread of resistant strains. Consequently, a large percentage of the world’s population is now resistant to antibiotics.
In order to become resistant to antibiotics, bacteria must adapt to the drug’s environment. They can modify the target of an antibiotic by developing efflux pumps or secreting toxins that allow the drug to exit the cell. Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem worldwide, and it can affect health and well-being in many ways. However, the good news is that antibiotics are a great help in preventing diseases and the resulting health costs.
A bacterial biofilm is a community of bacteria that have evolved to resist antibiotics. These biofilm communities often do not have additional resistance mechanisms, limiting antibiotic options and leading to chronic bad bugs. The emergence of drug-resistant strains of M. tuberculosis is only one example of antibiotic resistance in biofilm communities. Fortunately, alternatives to antibiotics have now been developed to combat the threat. These antimicrobials are not just a solution, but a critical step in the fight against chronic bad bacteria.
Antibiotics resistance genes can be acquired by bacterial cells in a variety of ways. In addition to mutation, bacteria can also acquire resistance genes through conjugation, transposition, and insertion sequences into chromosomal DNA. The most common means of resistance gene acquisition is through plasmids, although bacteriophage-borne transmission is rare. The genes can also be passed on through plasmids, which make them naturally capable of transmitting resistance genes to other bacteria.
As a result of antimicrobial resistance, the costs of treating infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus exceed $18,000 per case in the U.S., EUR9,000 in Germany, and a hundred and fifty Swiss francs in Switzerland. Many pathogens are highly resistant to most antimicrobial agents. Antibiotic stewardship and diversification of antimicrobial use are among the ways to curb this growing problem.
However, it has become increasingly difficult for scientists to discover new drugs that fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria fast enough. As a result, other measures are being undertaken. Public education about antibiotic resistance has been an important part of this effort. Diagnostic equipment has also been improved in recent years, which has made it easier to detect resistant bacteria. Although these measures have been helpful in the past, they have not solved the problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The use of bacteriophages in fighting bacteria was largely abandoned after the discovery of penicillin and other broad-spectrum antibiotics in the 1940s. However, the presence of resistance among these bacteria has recently revived interest in bacteriophage.