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Hunting The Nightmare Bacteria Essay

2055 words - 9 pages

In the last decade, the number of prescriptions for antibiotics has increases. Even though, antibiotics are helpful, an excess amount of antibiotics can be dangerous. Quite often antibiotics are wrongly prescribed to cure viruses when they are meant to target bacteria. Antibiotics are a type of medicine that is prone to kill microorganisms, or bacteria. By examining the PBS documentary Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria and the article “U.S. government taps GlaxoSmithKline for New Antibiotics” by Ben Hirschler as well as a few other articles can help depict the problem that is of doctors prescribing antibiotics wrongly or excessively, which can led to becoming harmful to the body.
In the documentary, Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria, reporter David Hoffman investigates this new untreatable infection along two individuals and a bacterial virus within a hospital. The first individual Hoffman investigates is Addie Rerecich of Arizona, she was treated for a staph infection with antibiotics, but other complications arise. Addie had a lung transplant, she was given several different antibiotics, but her body became pan-bacteria, non-resistance to the bacteria. Addie’s life was on the edge, she had to be on life support, and finally she received new lungs. The transplant helped Addie but it would take years before could go back to normal before the infection. The second individual is David Ricci; he had his leg amputated in India after a train accident. The antibiotic treatment he received became toxic to his body increasing problems. While in India, he underwent surgery almost every day because of infections he was developing. Back in Seattle, doctors found the NDM-1 resistance gene in his body; NDM-1 gene is resistance to almost all antibiotics. Ricci had five superbugs in his system; to remove the resistance bugs and the bacteria from spreading physicians had to amputate the rest of his leg. The last site Hoffman conducted his investigation with was the National Institutes of Health, (NIH) after one patient was treated for KPC, also known as klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase, five weeks later there had been an outbreak in NIH. Six months later, 18 patients were infected and six had died of KPC in the hospital faculties. The hospital did not find out how KPC spread and a small ratio of patients become infected and died from KPC in NIH to this day.
The cause for antibiotic resistant bacteria is when microbes, microorganisms including bacteria start to resistant and reduce the effects of antibiotics. Doing so antibiotics become useless to the body and bacteria multiples. A bacterium also becomes stronger and less resistant to cures therefore, sometimes individuals have to take more antibiotics or undergo surgery. In taking multiple antibiotics reduces the effects of the drug, creating resistance and perhaps mutating the biological genes to become resistant as it did with Ricci. The documentary did illustrate the procedures these individuals and the...

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