Causes Of Antimicrobial Resistance

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Antimicrobial resistance is gaining momentum in health care as a major cause of concern for the implications it bears on treating patients infected with microbial pathogens. Abbreviated as AMR, Antimicrobial resistance, occurs when bacteria that cause illness can no longer be treated with antibiotics (or other prescription drugs) that previously were able to inhibit the growth of or kill off the microbial infection (Frey, 2003, pg 70). For a health care provider this means treating what was once a common place infection is now a significantly more complex task. A particularly virulent infection could be untreatable by the current drugs available to health care workers (Dennis, 2014, para. 4). Analyzing the causes for the development AMR allows …show more content…
In 1952 it was discovered that penicillin resistant bacteria had existed before scientist began using penicillin as a treatment for infections (Frey, 2003, pg 70). Several of the antibiotics used today including penicillin were developed by soil microbes as a way of competing with one another for resources (Washington University, 2014, para. 5). Selective pressure within a community of bacteria is another factor leading to the development of resistance to common antibiotics. In nature the “selection” of certain bacteria occurs because only a small number of bacteria may be able to survive exposure to some antimicrobial agent. With all of the “weaker” bacteria killed the resistant bacteria grow and continue to pass down the resistance trait in their DNA (Frey, 2003, pg 70). This selective pressure relates directly to the human behavior of not finishing a complete course of antibiotics in terms of leading to the creation of resistant microbes. When a patient does not complete a course of antibiotics prescribed by a physician, and instead …show more content…
For one physicians are often guilty of overprescribing antibiotics. When antibiotics are given to a patient with a viral infection the medication will not slow the replication of the virus but it may contribute to developing resistant bacteria in the patient. Prescribing antibiotics unnecessarily may be a function of a misdiagnoses on the physicians part or a patient insisting on getting a prescription he believes will help reduces his symptoms (Frey, 2003, pg 70). Patients not finishing a complete program of antibiotics as prescribed is another form of misuse that can lead to the development of resistant strains of bacteria in the body. In recent years the growing threat of antibiotic resistant microbes had led researchers to consider taking a closer look at bacteriophage therapy as an alternative to treating infections with broad ranging antibiotics. Phage therapy was developed in the Soviet Union decades ago as way of treating bacterial infections because the trade embargo with the US prevented the soviets from acquiring adequate amounts of antibiotics (Reardon, 2004). Bacteriophages are viruses that specifically attack bacteria to treat infections by infiltrating a bacterium and causing the host to build virions instead of it’s own proteins. Eventually the build up viral material causes the bacterium

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