Antibiotic Resistance Essay Research Paper

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Antibiotic Resistance Essay, Research Paper Antibiotic resistance in bacteria: “The more times you use a drug, the more it will decrease the effect it has on you.” For about 50 years, antibiotics have been the answer to many bacterial infections. Antibiotics are chemical substances that are secreted by living things. Doctors prescribed these medicines to cure many diseases. During World War II, they treated one of the biggest killers during wartime, infected wounds. It was the beginning of the antibiotic era. But just when antibiotics were being mass produced, bacteria started to evolve and became resistant to these medicines. Antibiotic resistance can be the result of different things. One cause of resistance could be drug abuse. There are people who believe that when

they get sick, antibiotics are the answer. The more times you use a drug, the more it will decrease the effect it has on you. That is because the bacteria has found a way to avoid the effects of that antibiotic. Another cause of resistance is the improper use of drugs. When patients feel that the symptoms of their disease have improved, they often stop taking the drug. Just because the symptoms have disappeared it does not mean the disease has gone away. Prescribed drugs should be taken until all the medicine is gone so the disease is completely finished. If it is not, then this will just give the bacteria some time to find a way to avoid the effects of the drug. Arbeau 2 One antibiotic that will always have a long lasting effect in history is penicillin. This was the first

antibiotic ever to be discovered. Alexander Fleming was the person responsible for the discovery in 1928. In his laboratory, he noticed that in some of his bacteria colonies, that he was growing, were some clear spots. He realized that something had killed the bacteria in these clear spots, which ended up to be a fungus growth. He then discovered that inside this mold was a substance that killed bacteria. It was the antibiotic, penicillin. Penicillin is a group of antibiotics derived from the fungus Penicillium. Or it can be created by using partially artificial processes. Natural penicillin was discovered by Fleming but another ten years passed before penicillin was concentrated and studied by British biochemist Ernst Chain, British pathologist Sir Howard Florey, and other

scientists. Penicillin acts both by killing bacteria and by inhibiting their growth. It does not kill organisms in the resting stage but only those growing and reproducing. Penicillin is effective against a wide range of disease bearing microorganisms, including pneumococci, streptococci, gonococci, meningococci, the clostridium that cause tetanus, and the syphilis spirochete. The drug has been successfully used to treat such deadly diseases as endocarditis, septicemia, gas gangrene, gonorrhea, and scarlet fever. Side affects produced by penicillin are limited largely to allergic reactions that can be anticipated by the use of scratch tests before administration of the drug. Penicillin became the most powerful germ killer known at that time. Antibiotics kill disease causing

bacteria by interfering with their processes. Penicillin kills bacteria by attaching to their cell walls. Then it destroys part of the wall. The cell wall breaks apart and bacteria dies. After four years, when drug companies started to mass produce penicillin, in 1943, the first signs of penicillin resistant bacteria started to show up. The first bacteria that fought penicillin was Arbeau 3 called Staphylococcus aureus. This bug is usually harmless but can cause an illness such as pneumonia. In 1967, another penicillin resistant bacteria formed. It was called pneumococcus and it broke out in a small village in Papua New Guinea. Other penicillin resistant bacteria that formed are Enterococcus faecium and a new strain of gonorrhea. Antibiotic resistance can occur by a mutation of