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Drug Resistance Essay

1452 words - 6 pages

Every year, antibiotic-resistant bacteria are threatening more and more people. As much of a problem as it is, many people are not educated on the term drug resistance. Since it is such a growing concern, it becomes confusing as to why drug resistance is occurring and what can be done to prevent it. Because drug resistance is such a health problem, determining what it is, how these bacteria can acquire the antimicrobial agents, and the possible solutions to the resistance are the types of actions that need to be taken in order to have a better understanding of how truly powerful these drug resistant bacteria are.
Drug resistance is the capability for a microbe, such as bacteria, to ...view middle of the document...

It becomes much easier for a resistant gene to transfer information and for this mutation resistance to transpire once the DNA is passed on throughout the entirety of the bacteria. This idea applies entirely to the term selection pressure. According to the Alliance For the Prudent Use of Antibiotics, “antibiotics cause a selective pressure by killing susceptible bacteria, allowing antibiotic-resistant bacteria to survive and multiply” (Levy, 2013). In other words, it is much easier for a bacteria to survive a after already being exposed to the antibiotics.
When it comes to the antibiotics being used to terminate the bacteria, the drugs do not have much of chance to follow through with their duty. The bacterium has a sneaky way to avoid destruction through 3 mechanisms known as drug excretion, target modification, and drug destruction. Drug excretion occurs when the antibiotic does not even have the chance to enter the cell to penetrate the bacteria. This takes place when the bacterium condenses the amount of channels or porins that the bacterium has the chance to enter. If the drug did in fact have the chance to enter the bacteria, ATP would pump the drug back in to the porin by using a power pump. The efflux pump, which is a type of power pump, does not allow the drug to even come close to entering the bacteria as it shoots the antibiotic directly back to the porin. The macrolide Erythromycin exemplifies the efflux power point perfectly. Erythromycin typically binds to the large subunit of the ribosome to essentially hinder protein synthesis and the movement of the ribosome it binds to. But when an efflux gets involved, the macrolide will not have the chance to even reach the bacterial target because it will be immediately taken back by ATP as soon as it reaches the cytoplasm of the cell.
Through target modification, “some resistant bacteria evade antimicrobials by reprogramming or camouflaging critical target sites to avoid recognition” (Michigan State University Board of Trustees, 2011). Because of this, the active antimicrobial will not get the chance to bind or inhibit itself with the resistant bacteria regardless of the existence of the drug. An example of this would be the methylation of the ribosomes. Methylation inevitably makes it more difficult for drugs to bind to the target site, which results in the continuation of protein synthesis. Also, target modification can venture back to mutations. If there are mutations in enzymes such as DNA gyrase, RNA polyermase, or Topoisomeriase, the drug cannot locate these enzymes to bind to them, which results in a sneaky way for target modification to take place.
Of all the mechanisms that allow bacteria to develop resistant toward an antimicrobial, drug destruction is definitely the most direct. Throughout drug resistance, enzymes that are produced in DNA chemically deactivate the drug, which ultimately renders it useless to the bacterium. A prime example of this would be when the enzyme...

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