Johal, Gurniak (2020) Emergence of highly antibiotic resistant ‘Superbugs’ and the implications of antibiotic resistance. Journal of Academic Development and Education Student Edition, 2020. ISSN 2051-3593

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Many types of bacteria are now insensitive to antibiotics, the drugs which were designed to kill them; this insensitivity is known as antibiotic resistance (AR). Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is responsible for widely distributing antibiotic resistance among bacteria. ‘Superbugs’, such as Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), are particularly evasive, with resistance to several different antibiotics. The expression of high levels of resistance in these bacteria is due to novel, non-standard, proteins, including Penicillin-Binding Protein 2a (PBP2a), which allows MRSA to survive in the presence of antibiotics, even when other kinds of Staphylococcus aureus (SA) cannot. Unnecessary antibiotic use is mainly to blame for the development of AR, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting that nearly 50% of all US antibiotic use in outpatients is inappropriate. Other factors include ease of availability, and public unawareness; in a concerning recent study of around 55,000 members of the public, around 15,000 said they had never heard of antibiotic resistance. AR in the bacterium Heliobacter pylori (H. pylori) has resulted in antibiotic-based therapy success rates dropping by 17% for nitroimidazole therapies, and 36% for bismuth therapies. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says that hospitals may be required to spend up to an extra US$40,000 to treat resistant infections. Current predictions show the resistance crisis worsening significantly by 2050; changes must be made now to contain antibiotic resistance before it is too late.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: antibiotic resistance, ‘superbugs’, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, penicillin-binding protein 2a
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Keele Institute for Innovation and Teaching Excellence
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2020 13:42
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2021 16:41

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