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什么是抗生素耐药性:所有你需要知道的吗

新闻来源:admin 发布时间:2018-09-28

Antibiotics are medicines that combat infections caused by bacteria。 However, due to misuse and overuse of antibiotics, many bacterial strains are developing antibiotic resistance。

antibiotic resistance art

Credit: Wikipedia。

Before Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928, there was no effective treatment for infections such as pneumonia, gonorrhea or rheumatic fever。 Fleming’;s discovery kicked off a golden age of antimicrobial research with many pharmaceutical companies developing new drugs that would save countless lives。 Some doctors in the 1940s would famously prophesize that antibiotics would finally eradicate the infectious diseases that had plagued humankind throughout history。 Almost a hundred years later since Fleming made his milestone discovery not only are bacterial infections still common, the misuse and overuse of antibiotics are threatening to undo all of this medical progress as bacterial strains become resistant。 

Antibiotic resistance: a modern problem that can be traced to ancient times。

Contrary to common belief, human exposure to antibiotics isn’;t confined to the modern era。 Traces of tetracycline, a broad-spectrum antibiotic, have been found in the skeleton remains from ancient Sudanese Nubia dating from 350-550 CE。 Likewise, tetracycline has been found in remains dating from the late Roman period in the Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt。 These people must have included tetracycline in their diet —; and it was to their good fortune as the rate of infectious diseases documented in Sudanese Nubian populations was low。 For thousands of years, Chinese herbalists have been using a variety of plants which contain antimicrobial active components for ancient traditional remedies。

Naturally, the selective pressure imposed by these ancient antimicrobial activities has led to the accumulation of antibiotic resistance genes。 But that’;s nothing like the scale and intensity of antibiotic resistance we’;re seeing today。

What is antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance occurs when an antibiotic is no longer effective at controlling or killing bacterial growth。 Bacteria which are ‘;resistant’; can multiply in the presence of various therapeutic levels of an antibiotic。 Sometimes, increasing the dose of an antibiotic can help tackle a more severe infection but in some instances —; and these are becoming more and more frequent —; no dose seems to control the bacterial growth。 Each year, 25,000 patients from the EU and 63,000 patients from the USA die because of hospital-acquired bacterial infections which are resistant to multidrug-action。 The ECDC/EMA Joint Working Group estimated in 2009 that the cost due to multidrug-resistant bacterial infections amounts to EUR 1。5 million in the EU alone。 According to a 2013 CDC report titled “;Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States“;, antibiotic resistance is responsible for $20 billion in direct health-care costs in the United States。

Antimicrobial resistance threatens to undermine all the immense clinical and public health progress we’;ve come to achieve so far。 This is a very complex problem that requires concentrated and coordinated efforts of microbiologists, ecologists, health care specialists, educationalists, policy makers, legislative bodies, agricultural and pharmaceutical industry workers, and the public to deal with。

The main challenges in dealing with antibiotic resistance are, on one hand, genetically acquired immunity and, on the other hand, fewer and fewer novel drugs。 Since the 1970s, the rate at which new antibiotic classes have been discovered has continued to drop。 No novel drug classes have been developed in the last 20 years。 Researchers nowadays agree that, at this current rate, humanity is destined to lose the arms race as sooner or later bacteria will acquire resistance to modified versions of currently available antibiotic classes。

How bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics

Schematic by MeMed。

Schematic by MeMed。

Every time a person takes antibiotics, sensitive bacteria are killed, but resistant germs may be left to grow and multiply。 In time, these leftover populations can become so strong that antibiotics no longer are effective。

本文源自: 环亚娱乐



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