Essay on Antibiotic Resistance

1988 Words Mar 25th, 2013 8 Pages
Antibiotic Resistance
Nicholas J. Ciotti
Nova Southeastern University

Biology 1510
Professor A. Hirons
March 28, 2011


Antibiotic resistance is when microorganisms, such as bacteria, are able to survive an exposure to antibiotics and these bacteria are now resistant to the effects of these antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance in bacteria has been an issue since antibiotics were discovered. The fact that bacteria can become resistant to our medical treatments such as antibiotics is a natural evolutionary process, but there are certain human contributions that definitely speed up the process. For example, one of the main contributions that will be discussed is the problem of over prescription of the antibiotic drugs. The
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As stated before the primary contributor to the problem of resistant bacteria is over prescription of antibiotics. One thing that should be made clear about antibiotics, they will only treat bacterial infections, not viral infections. Research suggests that 89% to 97% of U.S. doctors do understand the relationship between viral infections and antibiotics, so the question still stands as to why doctors continue to overprescribe antibiotics in the face of the antibiotic resistance problem. One answer to this question that researchers have found is that a doctors’ perceptions of patients’ expectations for antibiotics have a significant effect on whether doctors prescribe antibiotics or not. In one study there was a 25.5% increase in the likelihood that the physician would prescribe an antibiotic if he or she perceived that the patient expected it. One factor contributing to these patients’ expectations is advertising. Advertising is encouraging patients to ask about medication and physicians are likely to prescribe or consider prescribing a drug requested by a patient (Stivers, 2007). This misuse of drugs is a serious issue and needs to be taken seriously. Antibiotic misuse is not like most types of medical errors in that it is an error that has much greater social impact than individual impact. As Avorn and

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