Antibiotic Resistance Essay

3071 Words 13 Pages
"Antibiotic Resistance"

I. Abstract

When penicillin was first administered in 1943, it proved to be extraordinary at wiping out nasty cases of syphilis, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, and meningitis infection. With the threat of these deadly infections in ‘check,’ pharmaceutical industries then cut back on their research to discover even more effective antibiotics. This new-found medical confidence inspired patients to merrily run to the clinic to get penicillin prescriptions for everything from nausea and diarrhea to running nose and sneezing, and doctors to happily prescribe the ‘miracle drug.’

However, microorganisms are now evolving and developing unprecedented resistance to penicillin and other once potent drugs, like
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A number of theoretical solutions to the problem will also be presented. The conclusion of the discussion will focus on which solutions should be used and what we, as bystanders, can do to help prolong the lifespan of the current antibiotics.

II. Introduction and Background
How do antibiotics work?

The primary function of antibiotics is to help kill pathogens that threaten the health of the individual. They do this by getting inside of the disease-causing organism and disrupting its vital processes. There are several ways to disrupt the processes, two major mechanisms will be discussed: One way is to interfere with cell wall synthesis. Beta-lactams are the class of antibiotics that perform this function. Among the Beta-lactams are penicillin and cephalosporin ("How do antibiotics work?" 1997). Another antibiotic mechanism is to interrupt protein synthesis. Tetracyclines and erythromyocin function in this way ("How do antibiotics work?" 1997). They belong to a class of antibiotics named aminoglycerides.

Under normal conditions in bacteria, there is an equilibrium between the building (transpeptidation) and tearing down (autolysis) of cell walls. The building of cell walls in bacteria is catalyzed by the enzyme transpeptidase. During antibiotic attack on cell wall synthesis, Beta-lactams bind to this enzyme preventing its full function and causing a weak cell wall to be constructed.
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