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Are Antibiotic Resistance Bacteria Unstoppable Essay Example

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Are Antibiotic Resistance Bacteria Unstoppable

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Before the discovery of antibiotics, diseases fatally ravaged mankind. Streptococcus pyogenes, for instance, was responsible for over half of the post-birth deaths and was a major cause of deaths from burns. Staphylococcus aureus on the other hand killed 80% of those with infected wounds with tuberculosis and pneumonia bacteria proving highly fatal (Bryan, 1984).The discovery of antibiotics was a turning point in the history of mankind and has since gone on to revolutionize medicine in a plethora of ways with countless lives saved hence. However, with the emergence and steady rise of antibiotic resistance, many forecast a total return to the pre-antibiotic era with researchers listing more than 20,000 potential resistance genes from bacterial genome sequences. With improvements in production of antibiotics with time providing less costly antibiotics, there have been widespread non-prescription and off-label uses of antibiotics that have resulted in (increased) resistance cases. The planet has now become saturated with these toxic agents (Hait, 1996).The first effective antimicrobial, the sulfonamide, has been rendered largely ineffective by resistance. Sulfonamide resistance was first reported in 1930 and the same problem continues to persist up to date. Penicillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928. In 1940, many years before the introduction of penicillin as a therapeutic, a bacterial penicillinase was identified by two members of the penicillin discovery team. Once the antibiotic was used widely, resistant strains capable of inactivating the drug became prevalent, and synthetic studies were undertaken to modify penicillin chemically to prevent cleavage by penicillinases (β-lactamases). This identification of a bacterial penicillinase before the use of the antibiotic gave a clear pointer that a large number of antibiotic resistance genes are components of natural microbial populations. As for streptomycin, introduced in 1944, antibiotic resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis were observed to arise during patient treatment. And as other antibiotics have emerged in the markets, a similar pattern as that of Mycobacterium tuberculosis has been observed (Meszaros, 2010).The first penicillin resistant Staphylococcus spps was encountered in 1940. 1943 was when penicillin was officially introduced to the human population. In 1950 and 1953,

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