Antimicrobial Resistance And Its Effects On Humans And Animals

1471 WordsMay 1, 20176 Pages
Introduction: Antimicrobial agents have been used for the past seventy years to treat infectious diseases in humans and animals. They have revolutionized the face of medicine extending human lifespan and enabling worldwide breakthroughs including safer childbirth, surgeries and organ transplants (2). However, the unnatural selective pressure of antimicrobials on microorganisms has resulted in microbial evolution consequently, leading to these agents losing their effectiveness against microbes as they adapt mechanisms to resist them. Mechanisms such as efflux pumps, modification enzymes and acquired resistance genes are common and can be transferred between microbes three main ways: transduction, transformation and conjugation (figure 1)…show more content…
He stated, ‘the public will demand the drug and an era of abuse when begin.’ Despite warnings, antibiotics are overprescribed worldwide. Here, overuse refers to consuming antibiotics when they aren’t necessary such as for a mild infection or viral infection or using them for an extended period for example, prolonged use of broad spectrum antibiotics (9). In the United States the number of antibiotics prescribed is an indication that a lot of work is required to reduce the use of these medications. The IMS Health Midas Database (2010) estimates antibiotic consumption based on volume of antibiotics sold in retail and hospital pharmacies, and found 22 standard units (unit=1 pill/dose) were prescribed per person. Notably, in some states the number of prescribed antibiotics per year exceeded the population meaning more than one treatment per person per year (figure 3) (9). These statistics indicate that people are using antibiotics extensively and presumably when they aren’t essential. Prolonged bacterial exposure to antibiotics can escalate the development of resistance. Although it is important a full course is taken by patients, overuse can lead to the development of resistant strains, prolonged infection and consequently, a higher probability of spread of these infectious organisms. An example showing the effects of antibiotic overuse is provided by an Icelandic study where now more than 35% or all
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