Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs
How they effect the world and how we can prevent them
What are they?
Superbugs are strains of harmful bacteria that are resistant to several types of antibiotics. Some examples include drug resistant forms of: Tuberculosis, Gonorrhea, and Staph Infections. Many of these diseases are incredibly contagious making them even more dangerous and an even greater threat.
Why does it matter to us?
Because superbugs are resistant to multiple antibiotics, they are much harder to treat and often require more powerful and expensive antibiotics, which may not even help. In fact, treating these bacteria with more antibiotics can lead to them becoming more resistant and even harder to deal with. Because they are often so contagious, their existence threatens all of us and could lead to a lot of deaths in the future.
How does natural selection influence the effectiveness of antibiotics and the deadliness of the pathogen?
When a bacterial disease such as Tuberculosis is treated with antibiotics, there is a chance that some of the bacteria that are genetically immune to the medication will not be killed off and continue to reproduce. When a second antibiotic is used to treat the remaining bacteria, a few bacteria will still remain, which have become immune to both the first and second antibiotic through natural selection. As this process repeats itself, the antibiotics become more and more ineffective and the disease become more deadly through natural selection.
How can we help prevent bacteria from becoming antibiotic resistant?
The best way to prevent antibiotic resistant bacteria is to stop the unnecessary use of antibiotics, which can unintentionally lead to creating a more deadly and tough bacteria. Another way to help is to prevent the spread of these bacteria by doing things like washing hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer. Clearly communicating symptoms to your doctor when you are sick can also prevent unnecessary use of antibiotics and if you do need them, make sure to use them only as directed to. A healthy diet will also prevent illness and stop the spread of superbugs by making sure that you never get them