The rise of re­sis­tance

As bac­te­ria fights back, the an­tibi­otic war is far from over

How It Works - - SCIENCE -

A mixed army

Each bac­terium in a colony is slightly dif­fer­ent – some are nat­u­rally a lit­tle harder to kill than oth­ers.

The strong re­main

Antibiotics kill or in­ac­ti­vate the weak­est bac­te­ria first, thereby leav­ing the stronger bac­te­ria be­hind.

Share to sur­vive

The off­spring of the sur­viv­ing bac­te­ria in­herit the genes that make them harder to kill.


Bac­te­ria can share genes, al­low­ing them to pass an­tibi­otic re­sis­tance to other species.

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