Are Antibiotics Becoming Less Effective ?

  • 2 Replies

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Offline neilep

  • Withdrawnmist
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • 20602
    • View Profile
Are Antibiotics Becoming Less Effective ?
« on: 20/06/2009 20:05:52 »

Happy Day To Ewe !

Sophie was at a birthday party today at a farmy place where they had lots of farm related fun filled activities !!...which is nice !..what did your 6 year old do today ?

As a sheepy I am of course in prime health....I require little medication and the doctor tells me that once I learn to stop putting things up there again I should be able to walk properly very soon ! ! bonus there !!

Lo & behold will ewe just take a lot at all these antibiotics:


Nice eh ?...pretty colours !

Antibiotics are my all time favourite multi-colured broad spectrum type medicational things for getting rid of infection nastyness !!

I heard that antibiotics are becoming less effective though!!...why's that then ?..Why are Antibiotics becoming less effective ?....can't they just make some more antibiotics ?..what will happen when there are no effective antibiotics ?

I am concerned !

Ewe see, I just do not know...........needing to know is prerequisite for me to be able to know...only ewe can satiate this knowledge deficiency that I maintain !...will ewe help me?

Hugs et les shmisheys

mwah mwah mwah !!

Executive Officer In Charge Of Showing Concern About Antibiotic Efficacy !

Men are the same as women, just inside out !


Offline Chemistry4me

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 7709
    • View Profile
Are Antibiotics Becoming Less Effective ?
« Reply #1 on: 21/06/2009 03:48:34 »
Patients do not always finish a course of treatment. By stopping taking an antibiotic before all the bacteria have been dealt with by the body's defenses, some partially resistant bacteria survive. These may have time to spread to other people before the body overcomes them. This is one reason why antibiotics become less effective.


Offline rosy

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 1018
  • Chemistry
    • View Profile
Are Antibiotics Becoming Less Effective ?
« Reply #2 on: 21/06/2009 12:52:52 »
It's all about evolution.
A (very) small number of bacteria in a given population are likely to have a genetic mutation that means they are not susceptible (or are less susceptible) to a given antibiotic.
If you treat a patient infected with that population of bacteria with a full course of an effective antibiotic, it will kill off nearly all the bacteria and (hopefully) their immune system will take care of the rest.
If a patient is incompletely treated with antibiotics (they stop taking them as soon as they feel better, or they were inappropriately prescribed) then the highly susceptible bacteria are killed off but the less-susceptible (the partially resistant) bacteria will carry on breeding inside them and are likely to infect someone else.
The new patient is now infected with bacteria a large proportion of which are resistant to antibiotics and much harder to kill with the first antibiotic, so what would have been a perfectly adequate course originally is now insufficient to destroy the infection and the bacteria become even more drug resistant.
If this happens with more than one antibiotic the result is multi drug resistant strains.

Of course, it's actually a bit more complicated than this because as well as transfer of genes down the generations of bacteria there are various ways in which genes are transferred between strains (via viruses which infect bacteria etc), but that's the broad outline.

In this country, actually, because GPs are generally pretty careful (and increasingly so) about prescribing antibiotics, we don't do to badly for this compared to a country like Spain where (at least until recently), according to a Spanish woman I used to work with, if you were prescribed antibiotics you got a big tub of pills, used some of them as prescribed, but then anxious mothers would give them to their kids unprescribed if they looked a bit peaky. According to her they're actually finding that because they stopped using first generation antibiotics a while ago now, there are actually strains which although they're resistant to modern antibiotics have actually lost a lot of their resistance to the old stuff (she's a lab based ex-medicinal synthetic chemist, I haven't checked her facts and they may be a bit out of date, but I'm inclined to believe it..).