Antibiotic resistance is the ability of a microorganism to withstand the effects of an antibiotic.
It is a specific type of drug resistance.
Antibiotic resistance evolves naturally via natural selection through random mutation, but it could also be engineered by applying an evolutionary stress on a population.
Once such a gene is generated, bacteria can then transfer the genetic information in a horizontal fashion (between individuals) by plasmid exchange.
If a bacterium carries several resistance genes, it is called multiresistant or, informally, a superbug.
Causes Antibiotic resistance can also be introduced artificially into a microorganism through transformation protocols.
This can be a useful way of implanting artificial genes into the microorganism.
Antibiotic resistance is a consequence of evolution via natural selection.
The antibiotic action is an environmental pressure; those bacteria which have a mutation allowing them to survive will live on to reproduce.
“Let me put it this way, if we don’t stop this, more antibiotics will become useless to us. Then you’re not going to see joint replacements, organ transplants, or dental work,” she told Healthline from her office in the U.S. Capitol. “Some doctors say that strep throat, in 10 years, could be fatal. It should terrify every man, woman, and child in the country.”
Antibiotic use plays a major role in the emerging public health crisis of antibiotic resistance. Although the majority of antibiotic use occurs in agricultural settings, relatively little attention has been paid to how antibiotic use in farm animals contributes to the overall problem of antibiotic resistance. The aim of this review is to summarize literature on the role of antibiotics in the development of resistance and its risk to human health. We searched multiple databases to identify major lines of argument supporting the role of agricultural antibiotic use in the development of resistance and to summarize existing regulatory and policy documents. Several lines of reasoning support the conclusion that agricultural antibiotics are associated with resistance, yet most public policy is based on expert opinion and consensus. Finally, we propose strategies to address current gaps in knowledge.
In recent years, antibiotic misuse has accelerated the natural process of bacterial resistance, rendering some antibiotics useless and causing experts to warn that we are at the “dawn of a post-antibiotic era” that amounts to a health threat on par with terrorism.
The US has its own serious problem with antibiotic-resistant infections: They’re associated with 23,000 deaths and 2 million illnesses every year. We’ve already seen a number of different ones — gonorrhea, CREs, strains of tuberculosis — no longer respond to any of the drugs we have.
Though these situations are still rare, experts have warned that they are likely to become more common in the near future. A recent report commissioned by the UK government contains an alarming prediction: By 2050, antimicrobial-resistant infections will kill 10 million people across the world — more than the current toll from cancer.
Am I optimistic? I certainly am . . . In fact, we don’t have a choice. We have to do better than we’re doing right now because tens of thousands of people are now dying around the world, particularly newborns. And this is surely getting worse year by year.