Antibiotic Resistance – Aka, Rise of The Superbugs

An apple a day doesn’t always keep the doctor
away. “why did they lie to us????” Fortunately, Sickness is inevitable; it’s
one of the less pleasant parts of life and throughout history, it always has been. Getting sick used to be a life or death situation
up until the development of penicillin in the late 1940’s . Now antibiotics are used
to treat everything from gonorrhea to step throat. But scientists and doctors alike have started
to notice a scary trend in bacteria becoming more and more resistant to antibiotics, making
them dangerous again. So why are common infections like strep throat
slowly going from annoying to deadly? [SciQ Intro] Penicillin works by attacking bacteria cell
walls and killing the bacteria so we make a full recovery. That’s why it’s used to treat so many
different bacterial illnesses, because it’s so effective. But because of antibiotic resistance, the
diseases the penicillin would usually kill are getting stronger. Antibiotic resistance is when bacteria is
able to resist and survive the antibiotics what would’ve normally killed it. It’s like they’re mocking us! But how did the bacteria become resistant
to antibiotics in the first place? Well, antibiotics don’t kill all the bacteria
immediately. It can take days or weeks to kill them all. So if your sickness is 99% cured, but 1% still
remain, and you manage to pass that disease on whilst you’re still contagious, you’re
passing on the 1% strongest bacteria. The last to die. When that happens multiple times, you’re
getting the strongest 1% of the strongest 1% of the strongest 1% until you get these
super strong bacteria that have survived. And this problem could be our our own fault! Many reports cite overuse of antibiotics as
one of the reasons for the increase in antibiotic resistance
People have been using antibiotics for illnesses that arent bacteria base so antibiotics don’t
necessarily treat and as a result, they spread resistance. But we always have bacteria
in our system. Another way resistance is spread is when people
fail to take the full dosage of the prescribed antibiotics. If you stop taking the penicillin before it’s
finished and come into contact with someone when you’re still contagious, you spread
the surviving bacteria, which is always the strongest. According to Scientific American, this is
especially common in countries where people can’t afford to take the full dosage of
penicillin necessary. This leads to resistance and can very easily
spread to other parts of the country and the world. Essentially, it’s survival of the fittest
at its finest. The top one percent of the top one percent
of the bacteria survives and is spread from person to person spreading antibiotic resistance
with it. Overall, this increase in antibiotic resistance
poses a serious danger to our health so it’s important we do everything we possibly can
to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria. One easy step you can take to prevent the
spread is to take all of the antibiotics you are prescribed; when you’re taking them
try to stay home as much as possible. This prevents the possibility of coming into
contact with others and spreading the infection. And it gives you a chance to binge more SciQ
videos (thumbs up). The second way to prevent it is conducting
more basic medical research. Back in the 40s the United States government
invested millions of dollars into research so that American soldiers wouldn’t die from
basic infections. More research will help scientists understand
more about the bacteria, find new antibiotics. and develop better ways to diagnose and treat
these infections. If emphasis isn’t put on this research more
and more people will die from these illnesses and in greater numbers. So what do you guys think? Are you now terrified of being infected with
antibiotic resistant bacteria? Are you going to start taking more precautions
and stay home when youre sick Let us know in the comments below!

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