The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: How does broad spectrum antibiotic use lead to antimicrobial resistance?  (Read 10828 times)

Offline sharx

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Many broad spectrum antibiotics are being used today (blind therapy)as Physicians can seldom detect the exact cause of the infection.

What I'd like to know is whether a broad spectrum antibiotic like say Norfloxacin if taken in an improper dose can give rise to resistant forms? Like penicillinase producing bacteria became resistant and are now more or less a wild type.

These resistant forms can indirectly infect somebody else and make a common broad spectrum antibiotic useless. Is it possible? I ask this as I've seen many Medical Stores selling improper doses of the antibiotic to people who can't afford the entire dose!
« Last Edit: 14/06/2008 22:10:53 by chris »


 

Offline JimBob

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6564
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Moderator
    • View Profile
I would venture the opinion that it is very possible. Antibiotics are becoming of limited benefit and technical capabilities. Bacteriophages and hunter-killer viri are the future and you could even throw in genetics and nanotechnology (small intelligent killer engines) as well.

 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Can or do Bacteriophages have any success at  treating open celled bacteria like Mycoplasma pneumoniae instead of the other antibiotics!
 

another_someone

  • Guest
As sharx suggests, the problem with bacteriophages, and alike, is you have to have a clear idea of what you are targeting.

The problem is, even if we could have a bactereophage for each bacteria, we often don't have the diagnostic tools to know which bacteria we are trying to target.  Also, I would imagine that bacteria could as easily become immune to bacteriophages as to broad spectrum antibiotics; but the difference is that since we would need a large arsenal of bacteriophage (at least one for each type of bacteria, and possibly for individual strains), so the resistance would be of a narrower scope.  I doubt it will solve the problem, only shift it.

The problem is that bacteriophages, like antibiotics, are produced from things the bacteria generally have had to deal with in the wild anyway (e.g. penicillin is derived from natural fungus, and bacteriophages are natural viruses), so there is every chance the bacteria also have in reserve some way of managing the problem.  If we are to find a way of killing bacteria that the bacteria have no defence against, I suspect it has to be with tools that are not derived from the environment that bacteria are normally exposed to.

The question of whether broad spectrum antibiotics will become useless in the face of antibiotic resistance depends on the price the bacteria has to pay in order to develop that resistance.  If antibiotic resistant bacteria are at a competitive disadvantage in an antibiotic free environment, then one would expect antibiotic resistance to remain a problem, but would not actually make broad spectrum antibiotics useless.  In particular, if we provide cycles of use of antibiotics, so that as tolerance to one antibiotic becomes common, we stop using that antibiotic and switch to another (that is totally unrelated to the first), and while we cease using that antibiotic, the strains resistant to that antibiotic become less dominant in the environment, so by the time resistance to the second antibiotic becomes significant, we can go back to using the first antibiotic again.  All of this assumes that the antibiotics we use are of a type that to develop resistance to the antibiotic the bacteria have to pay a price somewhere else (this will be true for some antibiotics, but not for others).
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Thanks George! That Seems there is a lot to learn about Bacteriophages. I hope they do find more successful ways to treat these bacterias.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum


 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums