Antibiotic Resistance - What Is It?

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Antibiotic Resistance - What Is It?
Antibiotic Resistance - What Is It?
Video: Antibiotic Resistance - What Is It?
Video: What causes antibiotic resistance? - Kevin Wu 2023, February
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Antibiotic resistance

Antibiotics are powerful drugs that are used to treat infections caused by bacteria in human and veterinary medicine. They don't work against viruses. The imprecise, non-targeted use of antibiotics increases the risk of antibiotic resistance developing and spreading. As a result, certain antibiotics no longer work.

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  • Antibiotic resistance: what is it?
  • What are the causes?
  • Which bacteria are resistant?
  • What are the consequences of antibiotic resistance?
  • What can you do against antibiotic resistance yourself?

Antibiotic resistance: what is it?

Antibiotic substances are produced by microorganisms in order to displace other bacteria. In order to protect themselves, microorganisms develop a resistance (resistance). Bacteria are very adaptable and multiply quickly. Their genetic makeup can change spontaneously. In this way, bacteria can also become resistant to an antibiotic. This means that the bacteria are no longer killed by the antibiotic or their growth is inhibited. These defense mechanisms are anchored in the bacterial genetic material and passed on to subsequent generations. The antibiotic thus loses its effectiveness for therapy.

What are the causes?

The imprecise, non-targeted use of antibiotics increases the risk of antibiotic resistance developing and spreading. This is the case, for example, when

  • Antibiotics are taken too often or
  • Antibiotics are not taken properly, e.g. too low or too short a dose.

The unjustified use of broad spectrum antibiotics or treatment requests by patients that lead to their misuse also contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance.

Resistant bacterial strains pose a major problem, especially in infections that are acquired in hospitals (nosocomial infections), since they can usually only be combated with highly potent antibiotics or combinations of different antibiotics.

Which bacteria are resistant?

Bacteria defend themselves against antibiotics by developing antibiotic resistance. This happens especially when antibiotics are taken frequently. These resistant germs could no longer be fought with many antibiotics. This can have serious consequences, especially for young children and people with weak immune systems, such as the elderly and / or the chronically ill.

What are the consequences of antibiotic resistance?

The consequences of antibiotic resistance include:

  • Infections last longer;
  • Infections are more difficult to treat;
  • For some infections there are hardly any effective antibiotics left;
  • Hospital stays are becoming longer and more frequent.

What can you do against antibiotic resistance yourself?

It is important to avoid infections. Experts estimate that around 30 out of 100 infections or infectious diseases can be avoided through hygiene measures such as thorough hand washing, hygiene in the kitchen, etc. If the doctor prescribes antibiotics, it is important to strictly adhere to the prescribed intake, ie at the correct intervals, in the correct dose and duration.

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