The Question Of Antibiotic Resistance

2113 Words Nov 10th, 2014 9 Pages
Introduction The question of antibiotic resistance is a growing phenomenon in contemporary society and modern medicine; it pertains to pathogenic organisms and is one of the most eminent issues of public health in the twenty-first century. Though resistant genes are ancient, its increasing prevalence poses a threat. It demands a greater need for antibiotic therapies. New resistance mechanisms may spread globally and limit our ability to treat disease and lead to a giant hole in the pillars of modern medicine. The immense increase in antibiotic resistance can be attributed to many factors. Along with spontaneous gene mutation, natural selection, and cell-to-cell gene transfer, humans play a huge part in the worsening of the epidemic. The Union of Concerned Scientists estimated in 2001 that more that seventy percent of the antibiotics used in the United States are given to food animals without disease to increase growth and decrease probability of mortality; medicine is used ensure and maximize profit. The misuse of antibiotics leads to an increase in resistance in that it exposes bacteria to antibiotics when this exposure is not necessary. Additionally, culturally-ingrained practices of using antibiotics sans prescription, sharing antibiotics with others, and over-prescription and dispensing antibiotics either incorrectly or needlessly due to the commercialization of medicine in combination with patients’ exaggeration of disease symptoms all contribute to the excessive use…
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