Antibiotic Resistance


Bacteria are termed drug-resistant when they are no longer inhibited by an antibiotic to which they were previously sensitive. The emergence and spread of antibacterial-resistant bacteria has continued to grow due to both the over-use and misuse of antibiotics. Treating a patient with antibiotics causes the microbes to adapt or die; this is known as ‘selective pressure’. If a strain of a bacterial species acquires resistance to an antibiotic, it will survive the treatment. As the bacterial cell with acquired resistance multiplies, this resistance is passed on to its offspring. In ideal conditions some bacterial cells can divide every 20 minutes; therefore after only 8 hours in excess of 16 million bacterial cells carrying resistance to that antibiotic could exist.


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