What Is Antibiotic Resistance

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Antibiotic resistance also known as Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is when bacteria acquire the ability to resist the destructive and lethal effects of an antibiotic. New strains of resistant bacteria appear via mutations that introduce an antibiotic resistant gene and then evolve by “Survival of the Fittest". In presence of antibiotics, alleles providing bacteria with resistance are under strong selective pressure. Hence, surviving strains will be in a competition free environment, they will grow and reproduce rapidly. The resistance allele can also be propagated via conjugation and horizontal gene transfer. Mechanisms of resistance employed by bacteria include: drug inactivation (hydrolyses), resistance to drug intake, drug ejection, and …show more content…
AMR will continue to be a problem for future generations unless the government provides more funding for early-stage-research into developing new antibiotics and/or reversing resistance. The pace of novel antibody discovery has slowed and halted since the 1970s when Trimethoprin was produced. Only 2 new systemic classes of antibiotics have been discovered in the last 16 years (Cycliclipopeptide, oxazolidinones). There are a limited number of drugs being developed to replace those rendered ineffective by antibiotic resistance. Many pharmaceutical companies have lost the incentive to produce new antibiotic drugs. They see no reason to invest money in something which will gain them no profit. Novel antibiotics are only used for a short periods of time and so sales are limited. Akin to this, there is no guarantee that the bacteria will not become rapidly resistant to this new antibiotic too. In an attempt to resolve this issue the prime minister has set up the Review on Antimicrobial resistance headed by Jim ‘Neill. The review has put through a goal that “at least 15 new licensed antibiotic classes should be developed per decade”. In order to do this a global fund should be set up, allowing collaboration of scientists in research to achieve better outcomes. Scientists at the National physics Laboratory have recently published a paper …show more content…
Hence, it is almost impossible to totally eliminate antibiotic resistance. However due to its growing development and it’s huge impact on our economy and modern medicine. We must respond to this growing problem in a multifactorial and multidisplinary way. The government should continue to fund research programmes such as those run by the ANTRUK charity. Despite this it is also crucial that researchers, healthcare professionals, chemical engineers and other individuals whose fields are relevant to AMR collaborate together and share information. In addition to this, the media could play a huge role in promoting awareness to AMR and the impact it is having and could potentially have on our lives in the future.
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