How Does the Re­sis­tance Spread?

Consumer Voice - - Feature -

Ge­net­i­cally, an­tibi­otic re­sis­tance spreads through bac­te­ria pop­u­la­tions both ver­ti­cally, when new gen­er­a­tions in­herit an­tibi­otic re­sis­tance genes, and hor­i­zon­tally, when bac­te­ria share or ex­change sec­tions of ge­netic ma­te­rial with other bac­te­ria. Hor­i­zon­tal gene trans­fer can even oc­cur be­tween dif­fer­ent bac­te­rial species. En­vi­ron­men­tally, an­tibi­otic re­sis­tance spreads as bac­te­ria them­selves move from place to place; bac­te­ria can travel via aero­plane, wa­ter, and wind. Peo­ple can pass the re­sis­tant bac­te­ria to oth­ers; for ex­am­ple, by cough­ing or con­tact with un­washed hands.

Sev­eral stud­ies have demon­strated that pat­terns of an­tibi­otic us­age greatly af­fect the num­ber of re­sis­tant or­gan­isms that de­velop. Overuse of broad­spec­trum an­tibi­otics – med­i­ca­tions that kill al­most ev­ery bac­te­ria, both good and bad – greatly has­tens the de­vel­op­ment of an­tibi­otic re­sis­tance. Re­searchers have only re­cently be­gun to un­der­stand the ef­fects th­ese drugs have on the good bac­te­ria in our bod­ies, which rely on th­ese mi­crobes to per­form ba­sic func­tions like break­ing down food and reg­u­lat­ing our im­mune sys­tems.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.