What Doesnt Kill Them Makes Them Stronger

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What Doesnt Kill Them Makes Them Stronger Essay, Research Paper What Doesn?t Kill Them Makes Them Stronger Humans live in constant contact with not only plants and animals, but also with bacteria. Bacteria are everywhere: in water and soil and in the bodies of humans and other animals. The majority of bacteria don?t have the ability to cause disease, but that doesn?t mean that they are totally harmless. The problem arises when disease ? causing bacteria interact, and are frequently in contact with the commensal, or harmless bacteria. They serve as reservoirs for resistance genes; collecting them and holding them for future transmission to other bacteria. As the resistance is transmitted from bacteria to bacteria, eventually it will be passed to one with disease ? causing

potential. Humans have grown accustomed to always having antibiotics just a prescription away, and knowing that they will cure their illness. These chemical substances, which are often natural, kill the bacteria by specifically targeting its ribosome or replication machinery. ?Virtually all of modern medicine rests on the efficiency of antibiotics, due to the fact that they not only cure bacterial infections but also decrease the infectious disease risk of surgery, chemotherapy and transplants to a low enough level to make them medically possible. But what happens when these antibiotics fail to do their job, and there is nothing that can stop the dangerous bacteria from spreading? This resistance to antibiotics is becoming an increasing threat to the human population and

precautions must be taken to prevent the problem from getting worse. In today?s society, bacteria are now more mobile than they ever were before, which makes it even easier for them to multiply and transmit resistance. They have grown to evolve naturally so that they are able to survive in the hostile environments they are often subject to. Bacteria, in every environment where antibiotics are used, are constantly evolving and exchanging genes that confer resistance to antibiotics. The bacteria are able to transfer genes to one another by means of horizontal gene transfer. This process allows bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics by acquiring DNA from another bacterium that already has the resistance. When the resistance is attained, that particular antibiotic no longer is

able to inhibit the growth or kill the bacteria. Once a resistant strain is developed, all of the offspring of that bacterium will contain the resistance. Because these organisms then pick up further resistance to other drugs and continue to pass them on, all it?s going to do it get worse. This problem of resistant bacteria has been found to be an extremely dangerous concern in today?s hospitals. They account for three out of every five hospital ? acquired infections, affecting nearly two million Americans. Half of all of these two million cases are resistant to at least one antibiotic. Resistance has proved to be an especially worrisome problem for people with immune disorders such as AIDS, cancer patients, and also recipients of organ transplants. It has been found that almost

90% of these patients that get multiple-drug resistant TB end up dying. A drug ? resistant form of Salmonella, known as Salmonella Typhimurium has recently emerged in the United States. This Salmonella subtype has been associated with severe human illness and even death, due to the fact that it has numerous antimicrobial resistance. Studies show that the Salmonella Typhimurium is present in animals both wild and domesticated, and can be easily transmitted to humans. These same studies show that eating beef, pork, or poultry products has been associated with outbreaks of the disease in humans. As soon as a particular strain of virus becomes resistant to an antibiotic, doctors must be forced to prescribe alternate medications in order to cure the bacteria. ? If you had an