Friday, March 15, 2019

How much do you know about antibiotic resistance ?

  •   Antibiotics pose a serious problem of resistance :

   Resistance is the number one problem with antibiotic abuse. Many people do not understand this process well. Some people think that they are becoming antibiotic-resistant, while others believe that bacteria mutate to better resist their attackers. In both cases, it is not scientifically accurate.
To understand, we must schematically follow the course in the body of a broad-spectrum antibiotic, that is to say capable of killing a large number of different bacteria. Take, for example, amoxicillin.
   When a child is given this antibiotic (usually in the form of a pink fluid) it is absorbed by the intestine before entering the bloodstream. It is then routed to all tissues, destroying bacteria everywhere in its path. This means that it eliminates pathogenic bacteria but also those that are beneficial to the body, such as those of the gut microbiota. In other words, we use a massive bombardment where a laser strike seemed much more appropriate. But the main problem is elsewhere. This dose of amoxicillin may be enough to kill all the pathogenic bacteria encountered, but sometimes in a population of one million, an individual has a small genetic variation (an aberrant malformation, for example) that makes him resistant to amoxicillin. . It is not the antibiotic that has favored this mutation: the individual has mutated completely by chance, and it happens that this mutation prevents the antibiotic from acting effectively against him. However, when the 999 999 bacteria have been eliminated and only the mutant remains, it has the free way to multiply massively.  All his descendants will then have the property of being more resistant to the antibiotic. It is then sufficient that this bacteria "stronger" is transmitted during a sneeze and the cycle can be repeated. Until forming a strain totally resistant to the antibiotic.
  • A rare but inevitable process :

   Of course, this process does not occur in every individual or treatment. Most of the time, mutations do not appear or are not transmitted. It's a real lottery. But in case of overuse of these antibiotics, resistance is inevitable, eventually. Especially since resistance genes can also be transmitted between two different types of bacteria! This means that the prescription of antibiotics to a healthy body (as is often the case) is very dangerous: the beneficial bacteria of the body can become resistant and transmit this ability to future pathogenic bacteria! Several antibiotics used in the past are now obsolete because of this resistance phenomenon.

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