microbial medicines have to lead an unprecedented increase in human life expectancy,
population, and the ability of medical sciences to combat all but the deadliest of illnesses.
However, a very small number of bacteria are resistant to certain antibiotics.
every time a patient with some resistant bacteria takes a drug, all the bacteria but the
resistant ones are killed.
Eventually, through this accelerated natural selection, the only
bacteria left are the dangerous, drug resistant ones. Bacteria are very quickly evolving
drug resistance, and our omnipresent use of antibiotics is in fact, acting as a catalyst for
this problem, and this could pose serious public health risks if a drug resistant epidemic
of “super bacteria” ever happened.
Bacteria evolving drug resistance is already a serious
problem in hospitals, where 70% of in-hospital infections are now resistant to some sort
Already diseases like wound infections, tuberculosis, pneumonia, septicemia
and ear infections are becoming difficult to treat with antibiotics. Unless we respond
properly to these developments in bacteria, society will be faced with previously treatable
diseases that are now impossible to stop.
A History of Anti-biotic medicines and resistance and Their Effects on Society
In 1929, Alexander Flemming discovered penicillin, a drug produced by mold that
inhibited the growth of bacteria on accident.
By 1939, scientists had managed to isolate
the penicillin component of the drug and made it into a usable antibiotic. During WW 2,
penicillin saved hundreds of thousands or even millions of lives. Meanwhile, Gerhard
Domagk, a German doctor, managed to create a synthetic, antibacterial called Prontosil,
the first of a long line of antibiotics called sulfamonides.
By 1946, penicillin had
revolutionized medicine and was used to treat a variety of different diseases. Meanwhile,