Antibiotic Resistance




Antibioticresistance also known as the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is thenatural phenomenon of bacterial resisting the effects of theantibiotics. Antibiotic resistance occurs when the antibiotic lossesits ability to kill the bacteria or control its growth. When thebacterium is resistant, it continues to grow and multiply, even inthe presence of the antibiotic that the organism has developedresistance to.

Microbesare resistant to many forms of antibiotic function and alsoantimicrobials. Once they have developed resistance against theantibiotics, microbes pose a major threat to health situations. Theresistance leads to the incurable infections that were originallycurable. This is because the drugs that used to kill or inhibit themicrobes will be unable to do that after the resistance. Thediscussion in this paper will illustrate the development, causes,results and possible solutions of antibiotic resistance.


Theoccurrence of antibiotic resistance is meant to help the bacteria tosurvive the effect of the antibiotic action. Most of the bacteria areresistant to antibiotics because they undergo the process aphenomenon of natural occurrence. According to Kreuzer(2008), mostof the antibiotic resistance is developed by the bacteria against theantimicrobials that it is exposed to. In this regard, there are twomain ways through which bacteria develop such resistance theacquisition from another bacterium, and through mutation.

Mutationsare spontaneous alterations to the genetic components of bacteria,leading to the development of different characteristics. Resistanceof bacteria to antibiotics occurs when the mutation process yields agenetic makeup that makes the microorganism resistant to theprevailing antibiotics (Kreuzer,2008).While mutation-caused resistance is rare, it is able to develop overtime. To develop resistance, the mutations enable the bacteriagenerate enzymes that make antibiotics inactive to act on the tissuesof the bacteria (Bonomo,2007).While some mutations eliminate the cells in the bacteria that aretargeted by antibiotics, others close up the entry points of theantibiotics into the bacterial body.

Bacteriaacquire the genes of antibiotic resistance from other bacteria in anumber of ways. One of the ways is the mating process of conjugation,where one bacteria transfer genetic material to another. According toBonomo(2007),the transferred genes have the characteristic of encoding theresistance to antibiotics in the transposonsand plasmids from one bacterium to another. Another way oftransferring the qualities is through viral attacks on bacteria. Avirus can transfer the resistant genes from one host bacterium toother bacteria that it attacks. In addition, bacteria have theability to acquire the resistance through the exchange of free DNAthat can be found in the environment.


Thecauses of are diversely associated with theability of the bacteria to survive the effects of the antibacterialagents. While there are many causes of the resistance, there arethree main dominant causes to the phenomenon. According to Kreuzer(2008), theyare natural occurrence, the use of human medicine and the use ofveterinary medicine. It should be noted that did not exist in the times when there was no use of antibacterialmedicine. According to Kreuzer(2008), thisis because there was no artificial agent to resist to, and themicrobes existed in natural circumstances. The environment thereforewas not adverse for the bacteria to react by developing resistanceagainst.


Thisis the naturally occurring resistance to the effects of theantibiotic by the microbes. This is the impact of the body of thebacteria to change according to the environment, as a way of adaptingto the environment. According toKreuzer (2008), thisregistered is conferred by genes in the bacteria called environmentalresistance. These genes cause the natural change of the microbes,especially when they congested in an environment. This is because themicrobes can transfer the resistance causing genes from one bacteriumto another (UnitedStates GAO, 2004).The transfer can also happen from the non-disease-causing microbes tothe microbes that cause diseases. This is one of the origins of theclinically significant resistance of the bacteria to theantimicrobial agents.


Theuse of the human medicine against certain types of bacteria leads tothe development of resistance to the treatment. Antibacterialresistance happens due to the continued use of the medicine, as thebacteria change its formed to resist the medicinal action. Accordingto Keen(2012),the bacteria develop resistance to human medicine as a way ofmaintaining its natural survival. The resistance of the bacteria isrelated to the volume of the medicine that is prescribed and taken bya person. Taking higher doses of an antibacterial medicine can leadto resistance as the microorganism seeks to resist the antibiotic.The prescription of smaller doses of an antibiotic could be better inpreventing resistance.

Inaddition, inadequate prescription of antibiotics can cause resistanceof the bacteria to the medicine. According to Doherty(2013), ifthe medicine is continuously prescribed and patients insist on takingthem, they are highly likely to be victims of resistance. In mostcases, resistance to antibacterial is caused by physiciansadministering antibiotics even when they are not supposed to, orfailing to explain to patients why they should avoid antibiotics ifnot necessary (Avorn,2001). For instance, many people believe that they should take antibioticswhenever they have a common cold. This is inappropriate since thecommon cold is a viral problem and not a bacterial infection. As aresult, people buy and take antibacterial inappropriately, leading totheir development of resistance.


Pooror inappropriate dosage is one of the most common causes ofantibacterial resistance for many types of bacteria. According toSeifert(2006),involves taking the wrong dosage of the antibacterial medicine aseither prescribed or bought over the counter. Taking less thanrequired antibiotics within the prescription period leads toresistance of the bacteria to the medicine (Doherty,2013).This happens because the concentration of the antibiotic agents inthe bacteria, tissues is low, thereby increasing frequency ofresistance. Moreover, taking a weak antibacterial medicine to treatan infection of strong bacteria leads to the development ofresistance by the microorganism. Other causes include poor hygieneduring dosage and improper use of antibiotics by physicians.

Useof veterinary medicine

Usingantibiotics for veterinary treatment has led to the emergence ofresistance of bacteria that affect humans. Using antibiotics inanimals occurs in four main ways prophylactic,growth promotion metaphylactic andtherapeutic (Ola,2011).While the four patterns of use are important to the health of theanimal, the development of bacteria resistance is a natural processthat occurs whenever microorganisms fight the antibiotics. Theresistance of the antibiotics takes place in human beings fromanimals through the occasional spread of the drug resistant organismsfrom animals.

Resultsof Antibacterial Resistance

Oneof the main impacts of antibacterial resistance is widespreadinability of the current antibiotics to treat the resistant bacteriainfection. This happens when the antibacterial resistant bacteriaspread the characteristic of several other bacteria. According to Ola(2011), thishappens in vertical or horizontal dimensions. The vertical dimensionhappens when the bacteria spread the resistance to the newgeneration. The horizontal spread takes place when the bacteriaspread the resistance to other bacteria in the same generation(Seifert,2006).The spread leads to massive outbreaks of infections by antibacterialresistant bacteria, which leads to concerns of public health.

Anotherresult of antibacterial resistance is increased cost of treatment ofinfections and bacterial conditions. This occurs because the cost oftreating an infection rose due to the use of several doses of morethan one type of antibiotics (Keen,2012).In addition, the present, antibiotics that fail to treatantibacterial resistant infections are rendered obsolete. Therefore,the cost of manufacturing, distributing and prescribing theseantibiotics is massive for the health sectors of the affectedregions.

Thedevelopment of the antibacterial resistant bacteria has led to thedevelopment of more research to monitor their activity. The impact ofthe resistance leads to a diverse effect on the human and animalhealth. Therefore, many governments have invested in research anddevelopment of new medical solutions to antibacterial resistantbacteria. According to Instituteof Medicine (2010), suchresearch involves animal and human aspects of prevention of furtherresistance. The monitoring of the activity and spread of suchbacteria also involves investigation of the methods of solving theproblem by reversing the resistance (Instituteof Medicine, 2010). While the reversal is a natural course, research is critical in themonitoring and control of antibacterial resistant bacteria.

Actionsto be taken

Oneof the ways of reducing the chances of development of antibacterialresistant bacteria is proper diagnosis and the dosage of theantibiotics. The physicians and health practitioners should carry athorough diagnosis to determine the type of an infection presented bya patient. This will differentiate the infection from the similarviral and fungal infections, by determining bacteria as the causativeagent (Rogers,2011).As a result, the physician will appropriately give the proper dosageto the problem. As a result, the risks of development ofantibacterial resistance by bacteria will be minimized.

Appropriateresearch and education is also important in the management ofantibacterial resistant bacteria. Research should be intensified togive expose the extent at which different bacteria are developing andthe risk factors for the development of research (UnitedStates GAO, 2004).Research on the whole bacteria family will provide importantinformation for the health care workers to prevent furtherantibacterial resistance (Rogers,2011).At the same time, educating people about the effects and impact ofantibacterial resistance is needed. Such education will createawareness of the problem and promote proper dosage of antibiotics. Asa result, people will learn the causes and how to avoid the riskfactors to antibacterial resistance.


Antibacterialresistance occurs when antibiotics cannot kill or control bacteria.The resistance by the bacteria develops because of mutations and thetransfer of the characteristic from other bacteria. The resistance iscaused by natural processes that bacteria undergo or artificialinfluence through human and veterinary medicine. In addition, theresistance is highly associated with the poor or inappropriate dosageby physicians and taking of incomplete dosage of antibiotics bypatients. As a result, antibacterial resistance leads to widespreadoutbreaks of bacterial infections and increased costs of managingbacterial conditions. To manage antibacterial resistance, properresearch should be explored, coupled with appropriate education topeople to avoid risks of antibacterial resistant bacteria.


Avorn,J.(2001).Antibioticresistance: synthesis of recommendations by expert policy groups.Geneva: WorldHealth Organization

Bonomo,R.A. (2007). Enzyme-mediatedresistance to antibiotics: mechanisms, dissemination, and prospectsfor inhibition.New York: ASM Press

Doherty,P. C. (2013). Pandemics: what everyone needs to know.Oxford:Oxford University Press

Instituteof Medicine, 2010. Antibioticresistance: implications for global health and novel interventionstrategies : workshop summary.Washington,D.C: NationalAcademies Press

Keen,P.L. (2012). Antimicrobialresistance in the environment.Hoboken,NJ:Wiley-Blackwell

Kreuzer,H. (2008). Molecularbiology and biotechnology: a guide for students&nbsp3rded.New York: ASM Press

Ola,S. (2011). Antibioticsand antibiotic resistance.Hoboken,NJ:Wiley-Blackwell

Rogers,M. (2011). E.coli infections: causes, treatment and prevention.Hauppauge,NY: Nova Science Publishers Inc.

Seifert,H. S. (2006). Evolutionof microbial pathogens.NewYork: ASM Press

UnitedStates. GAO. (2004). Antibioticresistance: federal agencies need to better focus efforts to addressrisk to humans from antibiotic use in animals: report tocongressional requesters.Washington,D.C: U.S. General Accounting Office

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