The Health Threat of Antibiotic Resistance Essay

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According the World Health Organization (WHO), antibiotic resistance is one of the world’s greatest health threats to date (Haddox, 2013). In the article, The Health Threat of Antibiotic Resistance, Gail Haddox (2013) discusses the danger antibiotic resistance poses in today’s society and strategies to prevent the expansion of antibiotic resistance. In Europe alone, an estimated 25,000 deaths have been attributed to multi-resistant infections (Haddox, 2013). Common infections are now harder to treat due to the increased resistance to antibiotics across the world, in fact some are becoming untreatable. Antibiotics should be treated like oil, a non-renewable resource (Haddox, 2013). There are four classifications of bacteria antibiotics…show more content…
Most of the public have heard of broad-spectrum drugs, especially in terms of antibiotic resistance, because they fight a wide range of bacteria but also kills normal flora in the gut (Haddox, 2013). The loss of this gut flora can lead to an abnormal growth of harmful bacteria such as clostridium difficile (C-Diff). The four “C” antibiotics that have a high risk for patient to develop C-diff are clindamycin, cephalosporins, coamoxiclav, and ciprofloxacin (Haddox, 2013). These antibiotics have the highest risk of leading to C-diff development, however all antibiotics increase a patient’s likelihood of a C-diff infection. This effect can last up to 12 weeks post antibiotic administration (Haddox, 2013). Less than 50 years after penicillin was discovered, strains of bacteria were discovered to be resistant to antibiotics (Haddox, 2013). Over the years scientists have changed the structure of the antibiotics to avoid this resistance, every time the bacteria adapts to overcome the changes. Bacteria divides as fast as 20 minutes and have many different ways to adapt (Haddox, 2013). Bacteria pass their drug resistance between strains and species, causing antibiotics to be less effective to all bacteria (Haddox, 2013). Eighty percent of antibiotic prescribing takes place in general practice (Haddox, 2013). Therefore, focus of limiting antibiotic
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