Antibiotics are medicines used to prevent and treat bacterial infections. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in response to the use of these medicines.
Bacteria, not humans or animals, become antibiotic-resistant. These bacteria may infect humans and animals, and the infections they cause are harder to treat than those caused by non-resistant bacteria.
Antibiotic resistance leads to higher medical costs, prolonged hospital stays, and increased mortality.
Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria evolve mechanisms to withstand the effects of antibiotics that were previously effective in treating infections
What causes antibiotic resistance?
Antibiotic resistance is caused by the overuse and misuse of antibiotics. When antibiotics are used too often or not taken as prescribed, bacteria can develop resistance to them. This means that the antibiotics become less effective at killing the bacteria, making it harder to treat infections. Additionally, the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture and livestock can also contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It is important to use antibiotics only when they are necessary and to take them exactly as prescribed by a healthcare professional to help prevent the development of antibiotic resistance.
How to prevent antibiotic resistance?
Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria evolve to resist the effects of antibiotics, rendering them ineffective. To prevent antibiotic resistance, it is important to use antibiotics only when they are truly necessary. This means not using antibiotics for viral infections, which do not respond to antibiotics. Additionally, it is important to follow the prescribed course of antibiotics and not stop taking them early, even if you start feeling better. This helps ensure that all the bacteria causing the infection are killed, reducing the likelihood of resistance developing. Finally, it is important to practice good hygiene to prevent the spread of infections and reduce the need for antibiotics in the first place. This includes washing your hands regularly, covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
What are the consequences of antibiotic resistance?
Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria develop the ability to resist the effects of antibiotics, making it more difficult to treat infections. The consequences of antibiotic resistance can be severe, leading to longer hospital stays, higher healthcare costs, and even death in some cases. When antibiotics are no longer effective, infections can become more severe and spread to other parts of the body. This can lead to longer recovery times and increased risk of complications. In some cases, infections may even become untreatable, leading to chronic illness or death.
Antibiotic resistance also has broader implications for public health. It can make it more difficult to control the spread of infectious diseases, as well as increase the risk of outbreaks and pandemics. Additionally, antibiotic resistance can lead to increased healthcare costs, as patients require more intensive treatment and longer hospital stays.
Overall, antibiotic resistance is a serious public health concern that requires continued attention and action to prevent the development and spread of resistant bacteria.
Antibiotic resistance is accelerated by the misuse and overuse of antibiotics, as well as poor infection prevention and control. Steps can be taken at all levels of society to reduce the impact and limit the spread of resistance.
World Health Organization (WHO)-Antibiotic resistance
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