Antibiotic Resistance And Its Effects On The Human Body 's Immune System Essay

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I: Introduction Antibiotics are derived from microbes that work by inhibiting the growth or by killing other bacteria (Tortora, Funke, and Case 549). Usually our body’s immune system is an ample defense by stopping microbes from replicating or killing them. However, sometimes the body can become overwhelmed and that is when antibiotics are used to help out our immune systems. An important dilemma in medicine is the increasing occurrence of antibiotic resistance, which occurs when bacteria are exposed to the same antibiotics over and over and eventually makes them less effective (Tortora, Funke, and Case 549). Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are bacteria that are not killed by common antibiotics (“Antibiotics”, 2007, para.6). There are several ways bacteria can develop antibiotic resistance: by altering of the drug target, altering membrane permeability, by developing enzymes that can inactivate the drug, developing alternate synthetic pathways, or acquire resistance by exposure to microbe with resistance genes. This spreading of genes is the result of plasmids that transfer R factors which contain two groups of genes: a resistance transfer factor and the r-determinant, which has the resistance genes (Tortora, Funke, and Case 232). R factors can be a problem in the healthcare field because of the misuse of antibiotics. This leads to preferential selection of bacteria that have R factors and results in populations of resistant bacteria growing larger and larger (Tortora, Funke,

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