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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 4-9

Rising bacterial resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics: Can there be solutions?

Department of Pulmonary Medicine, J. N. Medical College, KLE University, Belgaum, India

Correspondence Address:
Gajanan S Gaude
Department of Pulmonary Medicine, J. N. Medical College, KLE University, Belgaum - 590 010
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2277-8632.108504

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Antibiotic resistance is the ability of a microorganism to with stand the effects of an antibiotic. Antibiotic resistance evolves naturally via natural selection through random mutation, but, it could also be engineered by applying an evolutionary stress on a population. If a bacterium carries several resistance genes, it is called multi-resistant or informally, a superbug. Antibiotic resistance can also be introduced artificially into a microorganism through transformation protocols. This can be a useful way of implanting artificial genes into the microorganism. Antibiotic resistance is a consequence of evolution via natural selection. The antibiotic action is an environmental pressure; those bacteria which have a mutation allowing them to survive will live on to reproduce and then they will pass this trait to their offspring, which will be a fully resistant generation. Several studies have demonstrated that patterns of antibiotic usage greatly affect the number of resistant organisms which develop. Overuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics, such as second- and third-generation cephalosporin, greatly hastens the development of methicillin resistance. Treating a serious infection is a balancing act between timely appropriate empiric antibiotic therapy and avoiding unnecessary antibiotics. The rapidly increasing antibiotic resistance is one of the major clinical, epidemiological, and microbiological problems facing the medical fraternity. This problem needs to be tackled head on using a multi-pronged approach.

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