Drug resistance to antibiotics

High School ・Biology ・MLA ・2 Sources

Drug Resistance and Antibiotic Resistance

When diseases are treated, the individual organism differs in sensitivity to the drug that is administered. Even when given the same medication, some patients would get cured while others may not, and this is a condition called drug resistance. Drug resistance is when a medical drug, such as an antimicrobial, becomes ineffective in treating a disease. It occurs when the pathogens mutate and can cause the individual to develop a resistance to a single drug or multiple drugs (World Health Organization).

Antibiotic Resistance

In order to understand drug resistance, this discussion elaborates on antibiotic resistance that happens when the bacteria muutates and loses its sensitivity to antibiotics. This form of resistance happens due to two main reasons including use of antibiotic when one is not sick and improper use of antibiotics when require or as prescribed by the doctor. The situation allows the bacteria in one's system to develop resistance. However, some bacteria are naturally resistance to particular antibiotics. Bacteria acquire resistance by either genetic mutation or acquisition of resistance from another bacterium.

According to Laxminarayan et al., mutations involve changes in the bacteria's genetic material. Some mutations result in a production of potent chemicals by the bacteria that lender the antibiotics inactive. Other mutations remove the target cells that get attacked by antibiotics. In addition, other bacteria may block entry points for the antibiotics in the cell while others develop pumping mechanisms that pump antibiotic out of the cell so that it fails to reach its target.

Finally, bacteria can acquire antibiotic resistance gene through conjugation. Conjugation refers to mating whereby genes encoding resistance to antibiotics get transferred from one bacterium to another. Drug-resistance trait gets inherited by subsequent offspring leading to a more drug-resistance population. Therefore, antibiotics taken for common illness such as ear infection may fail to kill the streptococcal bacteria as a result of drug resistance.

Works Cited

World Health Organization. Antimicrobial Resistance: 2014 Global Report on Surveillance. World Health Organization, 2014.
Laxminarayan, Ramanan et al. "Antibiotic Resistance – the Need for Global Solutions." The Lancet Infectious Diseases, vol. 13, no. 12, 2013, pp. 1057-1098.

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