Bacteria are microscopic single-celled organisms that
develop in varied environments. Bacteria are
found in a large range of habitats, 5 milliliters or fertile soil may contain
up to 500 million singular bacteria. Some bacterial species live within other living
things, such as fungi or animals, bacteria indwell in oceans, hot springs,
snow, and deserts, the can be found high in the atmosphere, in the deepest
mines and at the bottom of rivers and lakes, but
can only be seen using microscopes. The relationship between humans and
bacteria is convoluted. Bacteria can be effective, for example, the bacteria
living in the intestine of humans are crucial for digesting food. However, some
bacterial species can be damaging, causing diseases like pneumonia and MRSA. Bacteria are
prokaryotes, they don’t have definite nucleus and lack many internal structures found in cells of eukaryotes, more complex
organisms. Typically, bacteria are smaller than the cells of eukaryotes, and
larger than viruses. Bacteria are measured in micrometers, or microns. One
millimeter is equal to 1,000 microns, and about 25,000 microns make up an inch.
Some bacteria measure half a micron, Thiomargarita namibiensis, a bacterium
that live in ocean grounds, measures up to 750 microns across. Pathogenic bacteria cause diseases by entering the
body, for instance through cuts in the skin. If the bacteria multiplies
sufficiently, it can lead to an infection. The infection can be caused by the
microbes, or by toxins the microbes produce. Toxins, for example those produced
by Staphylococcus aureus,
are more dangerous than the bacteria. Acidophilus, Lactobacillus, Salivarius,
Lactis, and Thermophilus are examples of beneficial bacteria. Salmonella,
Chlamydia trachomatis, and Cholera are examples of harmful and dangerous bacteria.


Antibiotics are medicine that are
used to treat infections/diseases caused by bacteria or prevent the bacteria
from multiplying, when used appropriately, antibiotics can be used to save
lives, but using them wrongly can worsen the infection/disease. Antibiotics can
stop bacteria from reproducing and/or destroy them. The immune system can kill
bacteria before the bacteria cause’s symptoms, by the white blood cells attacking
the pathogenic bacteria. Although, when our immune system is not able to fight
the bacteria and kill them, antibiotics are used. Bacteriostatic and
bactericidal are two basic types of antibiotics, bacteriostatic are used for
stopping the growth of bacteria, bactericidal are used to kill the bacteria. Antibiotics
block crucial processes in bacteria, helping the body’s natural immune system
to fight the bacterial infection. Depending on the antibiotic, the process in
which it helps fight bacterial infections varies, for example, penicillin
destroys bacterial cell walls, while other antibiotics affect how the bacterial
cells functions. The first antibiotic was developed in 1928, and many more have
developed since, some bacteria have altered and become antibiotic resistant.

Antibiotic resistance bacteria
develop when bacteria mutate in response to the antibiotic being used to fight
them, or by gaining resistance from another bacterium by undergoing a mating
process called conjugation, antibiotic resistance bacteria causes the bacterial
infection to become harder to treat, it can lead to increased medical costs and
mortality. Antibiotic resistance bacteria is a large threat to global health,
and is rising to high levels everywhere around the world. Pneumonia, blood
poisoning, and tuberculosis are examples of few of the infections that are
becoming harder to treat. Not using antibiotics correctly and/or overusing them
accelerates antibiotic resistance, the antibiotic resistance bacteria later
gets passed on to others. Only using prescribed antibiotics, washing hands more
often, and practicing safer sex are few things that help control the spread of
antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistant bacteria are transmitted as the
bacteria moves from place to place, either moving on their own, through water
or wind, when people are in contact with one another, or by coughing etc.
Antibiotic resistance bacteria can reverse and lose their antibiotic
resistance, but this process happens slowly.


Economically, antibiotic resistance
bacteria is turning into a global problem, it relates to a
patients cost for health care, it can affect the patient’s access to medical
care, and patients might be skipping the process of getting prescribed medicine.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is
estimated that at least 2 million people become infected with super bugs that
are resistant to common antibiotics. They also estimate that at least 23,000
people die each year, due to these bacterial infections. The economic burden
created by antibiotic resistance in the United States is predicted to be $55
billion (Health service costs and in lost productivity) each year. Each year,
over 50,000 people day in Europe due to infections cause by antibiotic resistant


The way people have been using antibiotics, is helping
create a new antibiotic resistant superbug. Super bugs are bacteria that are
resistant to various types of antibiotics. Antibiotics do not work fighting
viruses, such as flus. Using antibiotics to fight a virus, instead of helping
fight the virus, the antibiotic will kill a large range of bacteria, among
those, good and effective bacteria is also killed, the type that help digesting
food and staying healthy. Resulting in the surviving bacteria to have a higher
chance on growing and multiplying. As more antibiotic resistant bacteria
continue to spread, and as people handle with antibiotics incorrectly, these
super bugs can share their antibiotic resistance trait with other bacteria, resulting
in drugs becoming less effective. Scientists are using existing drugs to
develop new ones, that will be able to fight these superbugs, “We need to make
the best use of the drugs we have, as there aren’t many in the antibiotic
development pipeline (…) it’s important to understand the best was to use these
drugs to increaser their effectiveness and decrease the chances of resistance
to emerge.”, said by Dr. Jane Knisely. Only taking anitbiotics when necessary
and not insisting on using them can help slow down the spread of super bugs,
for example, parents often insist on getting their children antibiotics to
treat a childs ear infection, but waiting for a while is recommended, most ear
infections recover without using antibiotics. Washing hands often, not sharing
hygienic items such as towels and body wash soap, and using antibiotics accordingly
are things people can do to do their part in fighting antibiotic resistant



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