What are Antibiotic Resistance? – keep healthy

What are Antibiotic Resistance?

  • Author Stiven Benson
  • Published September 19, 2012
  • Word count 819

Antibiotics are drugs that are used to treat bacterial infections. Currently it is more and more bacteria develop resistance against antibiotics that we have now. This resistance is formed, in part due to the excessive use of these antibiotics, consequently, is to constantly develop new antibiotics to combat bacteria increasingly resistant. But it turns out that bacteria also become resistant to these newer antibiotics.


Antibiotics are classified according to their potency. The bactericidal antibiotics destroy bacteria, while bacteriostatic antibiotics only prevent those multiply and allow the body to clear the bacteria resistant.

For most infections, both types of antibiotics seem equally effective, but if the immune system is weakened or the person has a severe infection such as bacterial endocarditis or meningitis, a bactericidal antibiotic is usually more effective.


Physicians may choose an antibiotic to treat an infection in particular based on the assumption that is, they say, the agent responsible for the process. For its part, the laboratory can identify the infecting bacteria and thus, help the doctor choose the antibiotic. However, these laboratory tests are slow usually one or two days to give the results and, consequently, can not be used to choose the initial treatment.

Moreover, even if the agent has been identified and has been determined in the laboratory its sensitivity to antibiotics, the choice of drug is not so simple. The sensitivities that are detected in the laboratory do not always correspond to those present in infected patients.

The effectiveness of treatment depends on such factors as the degree of absorption of drug into the bloodstream, the amount thereof which reaches the various body fluids and which speed the body to eliminate it.

The selection of a drug has yet to take into account the nature and severity of the disease, causing side effects, allergies and the possibility of other reactions and severe financial cost thereof.

In certain cases it is necessary to use a combination of antibiotics to treat serious infections, especially when it is not yet known sensitivity of bacteria to the same. Associations are also important in certain infections such as tuberculosis, in which the bacteria quickly develop resistance to a drug administration alone. Sometimes, the junction of two of them have a more powerful and such combinations may be used to treat infections caused by bacteria which show difficult to eradicate, such as Pseudomonas.


In serious bacterial infections, antibiotics are usually administered first by injection, typically intravenous. When the infection is controlled, can be given orally. The antibiotic should be taken until the infecting organism to be eliminated from the body, a process which may require several days after the disappearance of symptoms. Stopping treatment too early can cause a relapse or stimulate the development of resistant bacteria. For this reason antibiotics are usually taken during several days after disappeared any evidence of infection.

Certain antibiotics are used to treat rickettsial infections, which are similar microorganisms either to bacteria or viruses. Rickettsiae are smaller than the former, but larger than the latter. Like the virus can only survive within the cells of another organism, but as the bacteria are vulnerable to antibiotics. Specifically, the more effective against infections caused by Rickettsiae are chloramphenicol and tetracycline.

Antibiotics are not only used to treat infections, but also to prevent them. For effective results, and in order to prevent bacteria develop resistance, preventative therapy should be short and the antibiotic that should be active against bacteria in particular. An example is preventive therapy to antibiotics while traveling to prevent the traveler’s diarrhea. Likewise, this therapy is used in people exposed to someone with meningococcal meningitis, due to the risk of contagion.

People with abnormal heart valves ingest on a regular preventive antibiotics before a surgery, including dental surgery. Such individuals have an increased risk of contracting an infection of the heart valves (endocarditis) by bacteria that are normally found in the mouth and other parts of the body. Such bacteria can enter the bloodstream and reach during surgery damaged heart valves.

Antibiotics preventive type may also be ingested by individuals whose immune system is not fully effective, as those suffering from leukemia, receiving chemotherapy for treating cancer and AIDS patients still. Moreover, healthy people undergoing surgery at high risk of infection (such as major orthopedic surgery or intestinal) may also be taken.

Unfortunately, antibiotics are often used where there is no strong reason to do so. For example, are often incorrectly administered to treat viral infections such as colds and flu.


An antibiotic can cause an allergic reaction, as usual with penicillin, or may cause other side effects. For example, aminoglycosides can damage the kidneys and the ear interno.O antibiotic treatment can be maintained despite the side effects, particularly if only effective against infection of that the patient suffers. The physician will evaluate the significance of these effects compared with the severity of infection.