What is antimicrobial resistance?

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What is antimicrobial resistance?

Do you really know?

What is antimicrobial resistance? Thanks for asking!

Antimicrobial resistance, or AMR for short, refers to how bacteria are able to become resistant to antibiotics. This phenomenon has been increasingly common since the turn of the century and is of great concern to public health authorities. AMR could become one of the highest causes of mortality across the world. Back in 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, the first ever antibiotic. It was revolutionary in the world of medicine and antibiotics ended up increasing human life expectancy by 10 years! But the widespread uptake of such treatments has led to the development of AMR. To put it simply, antibiotics are becoming less and less effective.

So are we saying that doctors prescribed antibiotics too often, leading to this problem?

That’s partly true, and sometimes for conditions or illnesses which didn’t really require antibiotic treatment. But that’s not the only issue. Antibiotics are also used on animals, in livestock farming. Research published in Science magazine last year showed that resistance rates had doubled at some farms since the start of the century. When resistance develops in animals, it can be transmitted to human beings, especially through food. After being exposed to antibiotics, bacteria can evolve and develop defence mechanisms, eventually being able to resist the impact of medicine. Even worse, when this resistance develops in one species of bacteria, it can be transferred to others too. 

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What is antimicrobial resistance? Thanks for asking!

Antimicrobial resistance, or AMR for short, refers to how bacteria are able to become resistant to antibiotics. This phenomenon has been increasingly common since the turn of the century and is of great concern to public health authorities. AMR could become one of the highest causes of mortality across the world. Back in 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, the first ever antibiotic. It was revolutionary in the world of medicine and antibiotics ended up increasing human life expectancy by 10 years! But the widespread uptake of such treatments has led to the development of AMR. To put it simply, antibiotics are becoming less and less effective.

So are we saying that doctors prescribed antibiotics too often, leading to this problem?

That’s partly true, and sometimes for conditions or illnesses which didn’t really require antibiotic treatment. But that’s not the only issue. Antibiotics are also used on animals, in livestock farming. Research published in Science magazine last year showed that resistance rates had doubled at some farms since the start of the century. When resistance develops in animals, it can be transmitted to human beings, especially through food. After being exposed to antibiotics, bacteria can evolve and develop defence mechanisms, eventually being able to resist the impact of medicine. Even worse, when this resistance develops in one species of bacteria, it can be transferred to others too. 

In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!

To listen the last episodes, you can click here:

What is the Electoral College?

What is synthetic DNA?

What is tax evasion?

 

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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