Antibiotic Resistance



Current research is showing that antibiotic resistance is on the rise. In past years, people were less concerned about overuse of antibiotics. Because of research, we now know that using antibiotics when they are not necessary gives microbes a better chance to mutate and gain resistance to that antibiotic. In addition, if you stop taking the medicine before it has had the necessary time to kill off the majority of the bacteria, the ones that are left are the ones that are most resistant to the antibiotic. In essence, when you fail to complete a course of antibiotic treatment, you are creating your own antibiotic resistant germs. This is why most antibiotics are designed to be taken for longer than the time it may take you to feel better.

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In preparation for this week’s Discussion, review the required readings and “Health Watch: The Growing Threat of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria” from Chapter 1 in the textbook,Human Biology: Concepts and Current Issues. Also consider this week’s video segment in which Dr. Sharon Krag and Dr. Fernando Guerra discuss the importance of public health professionals understanding biological concepts.

With this in mind, think about why it is important for public health professionals to understand the biological basis of antibiotic resistance. Recall that primary research is an original document that is the first account of what happened. A research report is primary, and you can tell because it will have materials and methods, demonstrating how the research was done. Many of the preselected articles in this class are review articles, which are secondary. They are designed to give you an overview of the subject. In order to understand and discuss the current research that is going on for any particular topic, you will need to locate and read primary research articles that are published in peer-reviewed, scholarly journals. Because public health is an evidence-based discipline, strive to use primary research that is published in scholarly, peer-reviewed journals.

Post by Day 4a response to this question:

  • Provide an overview of the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance.
  • Discuss at least one example of recent, published research aimed at understanding mechanisms of antibiotic resistance, and explain how knowledge about antibiotic resistance can be applied in public health (remember that public health is not medical treatment of individuals, so think in terms of education, programs, interventions, policies, development of products used for prevention and treatment of populations, etc.).

Support your discussion by citing at least one primary research article.

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