The pain Andy went through

High School ・Biology ・MLA

Andy complained of pain in her head while playing basketball with some friends one afternoon at home. Her mother, (Tanya) quickly placed her on some painkillers so to ease the pain. The pain persisted even as Andy took several hot showers throughout the night for relief. Then, her mother (Tanya) settled for taking her to a local hospital for an advanced medical examination in the morning. She was placed on some antibiotics hoping for a good outcome, but no, the fever grew worse in the following week. Tanya again took her to children specialist hospital and there she was diagnosed with pneumonia to her greatest shock.

2) What is the "problem" and what caused it (how is the antibiotic resistance encoded, how did it evolve, and how is it transmitted from one bacteria to another).

The gram-negative bacteria were resistant to many antibiotics that were given to Andy in the hospital instead moving from one part of the body to the next. It moved from her hair to the blood which infected her lungs and this necessitated her to be put in a life support machine. In the hospital, the doctors decided to put her on breathing tubes since her lungs had developed serious problems. In these breathing tubes, Andy developed Serratia marcescens species, a species in the gram-negative bacteria which was difficult to treat. The spread of this species in the body through the blood made Andy’s body pain resistant.

3) Why is it so dangerous, (specifically), and what can we do about it?

This species, Serratia marcescens forms an armor surrounding it making it very difficult for antibiotics to be effective in treating a patient. The only way out for the little Andy was a transplant to give her a new set of lungs, which is risky and precarious. The doctors together with Tanya the mother were left to deal with a post bacteria era where they had to act to save the little girl’s life but not kill the bacteria. The removal of this would only be possible through a surgical process.

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