Why Do They Be­come Re­sis­tant?

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An­tibi­otic re­sis­tance evolves nat­u­rally. When an an­tibi­otic is used, bac­te­ria that can re­sist that an­tibi­otic have a greater chance of sur­vival than those that are sus­cep­ti­ble. Sus­cep­ti­ble bac­te­ria are killed or in­hib­ited by an an­tibi­otic, re­sult­ing in a selec­tive pres­sure for the sur­vival of re­sis­tant strains of bac­te­ria.

So, now we have an­tibi­otic re­sis­tance (ABR) – in other words, an­tibi­otic-re­sis­tant bac­te­ria, or in­fec­tions that can­not be treated us­ing an­tibi­otics. This re­sis­tance oc­curs when an an­tibi­otic has lost its abil­ity to ef­fec­tively con­trol or kill bac­te­rial growth; in other words, the bac­te­ria are ‘re­sis­tant’ and con­tinue to mul­ti­ply in the pres­ence of ther­a­peu­tic lev­els of an an­tibi­otic. Hu­man be­ings have overused an­tibi­otics sim­ply by har­ness­ing them to treat all sorts of in­fec­tions from pneu­mo­nia to strep throat – but also by infusing them into agri­cul­tural sys­tems, an­i­mals, and food prod­ucts.

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