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The Rise Of Antibiotic Resistant Diseases

1078 words - 5 pages

Early on, penicillin may have appeared to be a panacea, but it actually only works on bacterial infections and has no effect on viruses. This is a concept that people, even today, still do not understand. Very few drugs are available for the treatment of viral infections because viruses depend on the human’s own cells to survive, so it is very hard to find drugs that target the parasite without also affecting the host. Bacteria are much easier to target because they are more independent and drugs can kill the bacteria without affecting the host. Penicillin and other antibiotics have no effect on the flu, common cold, HIV or other viral infections. Nevertheless, patients still insist on ...view middle of the document...

” In the article she explains, “Most [doctors] do it out of habit or to make their patients happy.” It is easier for doctors to give their patients antibiotics then to explain why an antibiotic will be of no use. Also if a patient is given an antibiotic they will feel like their doctor has done something to make them feel better. Doctors want to make their patients happy so their patients do not go find another doctor. These habits and lack of knowledge of viruses are what has helped led to the overuse of penicillin and other antibiotics. If it does not stop, humans are going to have a find a way to deal with severe medical problems that will be caused by antibiotic resistant strains.
Antibiotic resistant strains are caused by several different factors. Overuse is the biggest one. Antibiotics are often used when they are not actually needed, but this is not the only reason bacteria are becoming resistant so quickly. Other factors include the use of antibiotics in animal feed. Famers add antibiotics to their animal feed to increase the rate of growth and to prevent illness among herd animals. This causes a problem because the antibiotics used by farmers for their animals are the same antibiotics used by humans to cure the majority of diseases. This leads to an increase in selection of antibiotic resistant strains. Bacteria mutation will occur with or without antibiotics because the bacteria naturally mutate all the time, but the behaviors, such as overuse, and use in animal feed for animal growth, are causing resistant to happen at a much quicker rate than it would if antibiotics were only used when necessary. Overuse also allows the antibiotic resistant strains to spread quicker because of selection. The antibiotic resistant strains are not going to be killed by the antibiotics, so those are the strains that will be passed on to more people. The antibiotic resistant strains will spread quickly and soon antibiotic will be completely useless against the disease. As a result, humans are making it harder on themselves by giving scientists less time to develop solutions to the problem.

Works Cited

American Chemical Society International Historic Chemical Landmarks. Discovery Development of Penicillin (accessed March 29, 2014).
"Animal & Veterinary." FDA's Strategy on Antimicrobial Resistance. N.p., 28 Mar. 2014. Web. 01 Apr....

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