Why do ants not suffer antibiotic resistance problems?

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Ricardo asked the Naked Scientists:
Hello Naked Scientists!!

I have one question:

Why, when ants have been making and using their own antibiotics to control fungus growth and so on for millions of years, are the agents they target not resistant to them (to the antibiotics)?

And humans developed also antibiotics and our germs became resistant in less than 50 years?



What do you think?


Offline wolfekeeper

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Why do ants not suffer antibiotic resistance problems?
« Reply #1 on: 28/06/2009 23:26:46 »
It probably does happen sometimes.

Sometimes the gardens get invaded and the nest dies:


Ants may have an advantage though that it's a bacteria producing the antibiotic. The bacteria can evolve and may produce multiple antibiotics. It's much harder for the bad bacteria to evolve against multiple antibiotics simultaneously.