antibiotic resistance

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antibiotic resistance

Infectious disease The relative or complete ability of an organism–bacterium, fungus to counteract the desired bacteriocidal or bacteriostatic effect of one or more antimicrobial agents
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

antibiotic resistance

The natural tendency for bacteria, under the processes of natural selection in an antibiotic-rich environment, to evolve in such a way as to become capable of surviving in spite of these drugs. Antibiotic resistance is a rapidly increasing problem largely as a result of worldwide misuse and overuse of antibiotics in conditions that do not require them. See also ANTIBIOTIC-RESISTANT STAPHYLOCOCCI.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005

Patient discussion about antibiotic resistance

Q. Are superbugs contagious through the air? Last week we visited my dad in the hospital, and we noticed that on the next room’s door there was a warning sign. After asking, we were told it was a denoting that the patient inside had a superbug (called klebsiella). On our way out we passed against this patient in the hallway – is it possible that I also carry this superbag? Is it dangerous?

A. Usually these bacteria are transmitted from person to person through direct contact, and less through the air. Moreover, these germs are dangerous in ill and debilitated patients, and not in normal healthy individuals.

Q. Why Is it Important to Not Use Antibiotics Often? Why is my doctor always so reluctant to prescribe me antibiotics?

A. Antibiotic resistance has become a serious problem in both developed and underdeveloped nations. By 1984 half of those with active tuberculosis in the United States had a strain that resisted at least one antibiotic. In certain settings, such as hospitals and some childcare locations, the rate of antibiotic resistance is so high that the usual, low-cost antibiotics are virtually useless for treatment of frequently seen infections. This leads to more frequent use of newer and more expensive compounds, which in turn leads to the rise of resistance to those drugs. A struggle to develop new antibiotics ensues to prevent losing future battles against infection. Therefore the doctors try to avoid using antibiotics when it is not necessary, and try to keep a certain limited use of these medications.

More discussions about antibiotic resistance
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References in periodicals archive ?
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Specifically there is a growing cognizance of the relationship between increased antibiotic use and the development of "supergerms" -- bacteria which develop resistance to medicine's most potent antibiotic cures.
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