Antibiotic Resistance Essay

1971 Words8 Pages
Antibiotic Resistance
Nicholas J. Ciotti
Nova Southeastern University

Biology 1510
Professor A. Hirons
March 28, 2011


Antibiotic resistance is when microorganisms, such as bacteria, are able to survive an exposure to antibiotics and these bacteria are now resistant to the effects of these antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance in bacteria has been an issue since antibiotics were discovered. The fact that bacteria can become resistant to our medical treatments such as antibiotics is a natural evolutionary process, but there are certain human contributions that definitely speed up the process. For example, one of the main contributions that will be discussed is the problem of over prescription of the antibiotic drugs. The
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Human Contributors to Resistance What are the real reasons behind the problem of bacterial resistance to antibiotics? There is not really any clear-cut answer to this question but there are some known factors that do contribute to the problem. Some of these include the overuse of antibiotics in livestock, international travel that can spread resistant bacteria, and the biggest single factor across the globe appears to be the very problem of misuse that Fleming warned of in 1945. Over prescription unnecessarily is still quite common today, and this is a primary contributor to the generation of bacterial resistance (Stivers, 2007). One environment where bacteria are regularly exposed to antibiotics is in large livestock operations, where producers very often treat their cows and other animals with drugs to prevent epidemics in the unsanitary and overcrowded conditions, which are common in the livestock industry. The simple reason for this is that in the short term it is cheaper to drug up the animals with antibiotics than to keep a clean living environment for them. Another big reason for these producers to drug up the animals is the fact that feeding antibiotics to the livestock makes for larger animals. The problem occurs when bacteria in these animals survive the bombardment of antibiotics, and some always do, the
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