bacterial infections

Battling Antibiotic Resistance

Reading Time: 10 minutes Navigating the Frontiers of Antibiotic Resistance Accidental Discovery of Penicillin Sir Alexander Fleming accidentally discovered the substance with antibacterial properties in 1928. He noticed mould (Penicillium) inhibiting bacterial growth in a petri dish. The substance discovered by Fleming was later identified as penicillin by other researchers, most notably Howard Florey and his team, who conducted extensive research to produce and test penicillin’s effectiveness. Penicillin did play a crucial role in treating bacterial infections among soldiers during World War II, which helped save many lives. However, it’s important to note that penicillin production on a larger scale and its widespread use occurred a few years after World War II. Accidental Discovery of Penicillin Sir Alexander Fleming accidentally discovered the substance with antibacterial properties in 1928. He noticed mould (Penicillium) inhibiting bacterial growth in a petri dish. The substance discovered by Fleming was later identified as penicillin by other researchers, most notably Howard Florey and his team, who conducted extensive research to produce and test penicillin’s effectiveness. Penicillin did play a crucial role in treating bacterial infections among soldiers during World War II, which helped save many lives. However, it’s important to note that penicillin production on a larger scale and its widespread use occurred a few years after World War II. Accidental Discovery of Penicillin Sir Alexander Fleming accidentally discovered the substance with antibacterial properties in 1928. He noticed mould (Penicillium) inhibiting bacterial growth in a petri dish. The substance discovered by Fleming was later identified as penicillin by other researchers, most notably Howard Florey and his team, who conducted extensive research to produce and test penicillin’s effectiveness. Penicillin did play a crucial role in treating bacterial infections among soldiers during World War II, which helped save many lives. However, it’s important to note that penicillin production on a larger scale and its widespread use occurred a few years after World War II. Impact of Antibiotics on global health outcomes With the discovery of antibiotics, diseases that were regarded as fatal or chronic became treatable. Antibiotics are used to stop or slow down the growth of bacteria. The discovery of antibiotics significantly lowered the death ratio. Over the time of 100 years, antibiotics have significantly changed the course of modern medicine. Antibiotics have played a significant role in increasing the average lifespan of humans by 23 years along with advances in healthcare, sanitation, nutrition, and various medical interventions. Antibiotics have played a major role in the advancement of medicine and surgery. Antibiotics have been successful in treating and preventing infections in patients suffering from various ailments or issues such as diabetes, renal diseases, and arthritis. Antibiotics have also been prescribed to patients receiving chemotherapy, or patients who have undergone surgeries such as joint replacements, organ transplants, or cardiovascular surgeries. In countries that have relatively low living standards, and sanitation is poor, antibiotics help reduce morbidity and mortality that can be caused due to foodborne or other infections associated with poverty. Antibiotic Resistance: The Crisis Ensues… One of the most significant breakthroughs in the field of medicine is said to be the discovery of antibacterial therapy. However, in the year 1945, Sir Alexandar Fleming warned that the overuse or abuse of antibiotics could lead to time that would bring antibiotic resistance.  The evolution of antibiotic resistance has been driven by the overuse of antibiotics. The evolution of drug resistance in many pathogens has resulted in the current antimicrobial crisis the world is facing today. Antibiotic resistance emerges when pathogens like bacteria or other microorganisms gain the ability to resist the antibiotic or antimicrobial drug that once effectively acted on that pathogen. Effects of Antibiotic resistance Antibiotic resistance has individual as well as societal impacts. The antibiotics that are prescribed to one individual can affect the resistance pattern of the whole community. Once the antifungals and antibiotics lose their efficacy then the ability to treat infection with them is also lost. The infections caused due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria are harder to treat which often results in high medical expenses, prolonged hospital stays, and an increase in mortality rates.  Infections caused due to resistant strains result in up to a two-fold high rate of fatal effects. These fatal health effects can be termed as the virulence of the strain, increase in host vulnerability, and severity of the disease. “Antibiotics are usually prescribed to treat Bacterial infections that affect various parts of the body such as the Urinary tract, Respiratory tract, Skin, Genitalia, etc. If you’re prescribed antibiotics, it’s important to take them EXACTLY as directed by your Physician to ensure the best chance of effectively treating the infection and minimizing the risk of antibiotic resistance.” Dr. Areez Khoza, MBBS, Delhi Some examples of antimicrobial resistance Now considered a rising threat, Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) is gaining attention. Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, in particular, has demonstrated a mortality risk of 2 to 5 times higher than infections caused by carbapenem-susceptible strains. In the case of infections like gonorrhoea, Neisseria gonorrhoeae strains exhibit resistance to most antibiotics, potentially resulting in their transformation into other secondary Infections & Sexually transmitted infections, such as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, etc. Antimicrobial resistance contributes to increased mortality rates and has the potential for the spread of other infections due to treatment limitations. Some examples of antimicrobial resistance Now considered a rising threat, Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) is gaining attention. Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, in particular, has demonstrated a mortality risk of 2 to 5 times higher than infections caused by carbapenem-susceptible strains. In the case of infections like gonorrhoea, Neisseria gonorrhoeae strains exhibit resistance to most antibiotics, potentially resulting in their transformation into other secondary Infections & Sexually transmitted infections, such as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, etc. Antimicrobial resistance contributes to increased mortality rates and has the potential for the spread of other infections due to treatment limitations. Some examples of antimicrobial resistance Now considered a rising threat, Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) is gaining attention. Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, in particular, has demonstrated a mortality risk of 2 to 5 times higher than infections caused by carbapenem-susceptible

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