Antibiotic Resistance: Meaning, Causes, Factors, Consequences, Reductions and Solutions
ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE MADE EASY
A lot of us are on this table. if you know you self medicate, don’t complete dosages, take tablets at will, my dear your bungalow is on this table…
Okay lets do small Microbiology class shall we?
So there are different types of microorganisms there are bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa and so on… and they are ubiquitous. By ubiquitous it means they are everywhere, in the air, soil, water you name it.
But for the sake of this thread we would focus on Bacteria.
So I won’t want to bore you with their classification and all that boring jazz. But do you know that not all bacteria are harmful? Some constitute what we call “NORMAL FLORA” here the bacteria for instance inhabit that part of the body without causing any disease.
Your skin is a good example. You have bacteria which live on the surface of your skin but do not cause any disease.
Now moving to the pathogenic ones i.e. the ones capable of causing diseases, they are usually not resident in our body but might be introduced via so many channels.
Now these are drugs we take when we have a “BACTERIAL INFECTION” notice that I highlighted bacterial. I didn’t write fungal infection or viral infection. That is why you must be sure you have a bacterial infection before you commence taking antibiotics.
The only way to be sure is to get a diagnosis from your doctor after he/she may have clerked you and ordered some tests for you to do. Then antibiotics would be prescribed for you.
This simply means that the antibiotic is no longer effective on its target bacteria. So if I take it, I actually don’t get better. Why, you may ask.
Well the simple answer is that the bacteria have “adapted” and hence changed their response to this medicine.
THINGS WE DO THAT PROMOTE RESISTANCE
1) Self medicate: we notice some symptoms maybe fever, nausea and the next thing we are on our way to the pharmacy to get antibiotics.
2) Taking antibiotics before or after sex to prevent infection. (this falls under misuse)
3) Not completing dosages: we are all guilty of this. Please even if you FEEL BETTER, complete your dosage!!
4) Bad hygiene and dirtiness: are you surprised? well don’t be, bad hygiene also promotes antibiotic resistance.
So please lets try to work on the practices listed above to curb this global threat.