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Anti Bacterial Resistant Superbugs Essay

1251 words - 5 pages

It is undeniable that the recent discovery of antibiotics and disinfectants in the past century is leading to the creation of increasingly dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Super bugs like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus have begun breaking out in hospital areas, killing more and more patients due to the lack of people following through with simple safety measures. In order to stop the creation and spread of antibiotic-resistant super bugs, proper precautions must be taken such as avoiding antibacterial cleaners, following through with instructions when taking prescriptions and maintaining adequate hand hygiene. Through adhering to basic safety rules, the creation and spread of super bugs can be minimized and all together discontinued from occurring at such a rapid rate.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are created when mutations in the pathogen's genetic code occurs, changing the protein in the bacteria that the antibiotics normally go after into a shape that the antibiotic can not recognize. The average bacteria divides every twenty minutes, so if a contaminated spot has one single bacteria in the morning, there could be trillions on that same spot at the end of the day. That means that when counting all the possibilities of mutations, the amount of mutated offspring that the bacteria might have formed during those replications could be as high as in the millions. Fortunately though, this does not happen so frequently that it is normally an issue. The amount of non-mutated bacteria vastly outnumbers the mutated ones and many of the mutations occurring in the bacteria usually have either a harmful effect, or not effect at all on its function. That means that the pathogen is still relatively less harmful than it could have been had there more been more mutated bacteria. Nevertheless, there is an unfortunate side to this matter. As a writer for The Globe and Mail, Jennifer Yang, stated, “Anti-bacterial products containing anti-microbial agents are being increasingly marketed to Canadians for personal and household use despite a lack of evidence for additional benefit and serious concerns about the potential for increased bacterial resistance.” The concern she is talking about is centred in the use of the products such as disinfectant sprays, of which can kill 99.9% of bacteria on a given surface. The 0.1% that is left remaining is the mutated antibiotic-resistant super bug which the disinfectant is unable to kill due to its mutated nature. And being the only type left, it has no competitors remaining for resources and can divide at a rapid pace, giving birth to a larger colony of highly dangerous pathogens. The same phenomena occurs when patients stop taking antibiotics half way through their treatment. The amount of bacteria in their body at that point has a higher percentage of stronger bacteria than the weaker. Therefore, when the patient decides to stop their antibiotic treatment, they inadvertently create more resistant...

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