antibiotic resistance

(redirected from Supergerm)

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

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.

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
References in periodicals archive ?
This life-threatening "supergerm" is usually acquired in a hospital setting, though "community-acquired" MRSA is the more dangerous strain.
The Pentagon is eager to determine if the supergerm can defeat current US bio defenses, but Moscow refuses to honor its side of the deal despite an informal bilateral agreement to expand cooperation on these matters.
But Easterbrook reminds us that while the White House was fretting about the kind of supergerm threat depicted in a recent thriller, The Cobra Event, real terrorists were in the final stages of plotting the attack on the World Trade Center with old-fashioned jetliners.
In this age of supergerms and having an environment teeming with microorganisms, it is imperative that we should have healthy eating habits.
Each of our experimental messages indicated that the public was at some risk--of supergerms, of meningitis, or of inadequate nutrition.
Advanced future forms of molecular nanotechnology might be used to build weapons system even more powerful than hydrogen bombs and supergerms. (50) Artificial intelligence might one day surpass biological intelligence and thereby become extremely powerful.
They have worried that antibiotic use will create strains of "supergerms" ever since.
Recent scientific and technological advances have created new types of diseases and supergerms that threaten us and make the world increasingly toxic and unliveable.
Far-ranging in scope, they included stories about the Iraqi and Soviet germ-weapons programs, the United States' biological-defense program, the potential of scientists to produce supergerms, and the increased interest by several countries and terrorists in acquiring germ weapons.
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.
Tests of the potential of supergerms are being conducted at Porton Down, the headquarters of the British government's chemical and biological defence establishment.
For decades, public health officials warned that the overuse of prescription antibiotics and antibacterial soap and hand wipes could lead to the growth of "supergerms," drug-resistant bacteria that are difficult if not impossible to control.