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Antibiotic Resistance

Mechanisms Of Resistance, Resistance And Public Health

Antibiotic resistance is the ability of a bacterium or other microorganism to survive and reproduce in the presence of antibiotic doses that were previously thought effective against them. Examples of microbe resistance to antibiotics dot the countryside, plaguing humankind. For instance, in February 1994 dozens of students at La Quinta High School in southern California were exposed to the pathogenic (disease-causing) agent, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and eleven were diagnosed with active tuberculosis. Many strains of this bacterium are multi-drug resistant (MDR). As for the sexually transmitted pathogen Neisseria gonorrhea, which causes gonorrhea, the antibiotics penicillin and tetracycline that were used against it in the 1980s can no longer be the first lines of defense, again because of antibiotic resistance. If only 2 percent of a N. gonorrhea population is antibiotic resistant, a community-wide infection of this persistent strain can occur.

Antibiotic resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria grow on this medium filled with antibiotics.

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Medicine EncyclopediaGenetics in Medicine - Part 1