Drug resistance of microbes // Drug Repurposing

Drug resistance of microbes

Edward Cox on antimicrobial resistanceGet Consumer Updates by E-mail

Stuart Gaines, an FDA microbiologist who works with the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System, examines the growth of a bacterial culture. Get this photo on Flickr.

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The resistance of bacteria to antibiotics and similar drugs—called antimicrobials—is considered a major public health threat by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its counterparts around the world.

Antibiotics have transformed health care since they were introduced in the 1940s and have been widely used to fight bacterial infections. These and similar drugs kill or inhibit the growth of disease-causing microorganisms.

David White on antimicrobial resistanceHowever, some infectious organisms have developed resistance to the antibiotics used to treat patients with infections. When bacteria become resistant to an antibiotic, that medicine becomes less effective. Medical treatment of people infected with these drug-resistant organisms can become more complicated, leading to longer hospital stays, increased health care costs, and in extreme cases, to untreatable infections.

At FDA, the work to identify and contain antimicrobial resistance includes two parallel tracks:

  • efforts to reduce drug-resistant bacteria in foods and in animals that enter the food supply, and
  • facilitating the development of new antibiotics to treat patients while preserving the effectiveness of existing antibiotics.

David White, Ph.D., chief science officer in FDA's Office of Food and Veterinary Medicine, and Edward Cox, M.D., M.P.H., director of FDA's Office of Antimicrobial Products in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), explain the challenges presented by antimicrobial resistance and the efforts being made to combat this public health risk.

Is antimicrobial resistance caused entirely by overuse or inappropriate use of prescription antibiotics, both in humans and animals?

Cox: Any use of antibiotics, even appropriate therapeutic use, can promote the development of resistant bacteria. An antibiotic acts on the bacteria causing the infection, but it also affects the "good" bacteria that we all have and need in our bodies (such as the bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract). That's why it's important to only use antibiotics when your doctor prescribes them for the treatment of a bacterial infection. Taking an antibiotic when you don't have a bacterial infection doesn't treat your illness and can set off a chain of events that can lead to the development of resistant bacteria. So it's vital that we use these drugs appropriately to help slow the rate at which bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics.

White: Some antimicrobial resistance occurs naturally and is known as intrinsic resistance, an inherent characteristic of some specific types of bacteria. These intrinsic resistances should generally be known by health care professionals to avoid the use of inappropriate or ineffective treatments.

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Sickle cell

by coelentrate

Sickle cell is not the best example I gave. The best examples are lactose tolerance in humans and evolution of drug resistance in microbes because these are physical changes that humans have observed with their own eyes.
sickle cell is also circumstantial evidence. we think that the sickle cell allele should have dissapeared but it dsidn't. we guess it's malaria resistance. And we guess the reason is selective pressure.

Hard to say.

by pleni

Since bacteria don't fossilize, it is hard to determine what transitions have occurred. Here is a little bit of info on it. The interesting thing about bacteria is that one generation is very short compared to human generations. That is why we can see evolution happening in "real time" in bacteria, but can't see it in humans or other animals.
"Antibacterial resistance is an example of evolution in action. Whenever an antibiotic is used, there is always the chance that some of the bacteria will survive. Compared to the bacteria that were killed off, the survivors have genes that make them more resistant to the drug

ASM Press Revenge of the Microbes: How Bacterial Resistance is Undermining the Antibiotic Miracle
Book (ASM Press)
  • Used Book in Good Condition

Awards presented at Hoyle School  — spectator.southcoasttoday
He noted that Lt. Cabral served as the Drug Awareness Resistance Education (DARE) officer for three years without being paid after the town went through a difficult financial time.

Prometheus Books Rising Plague: The Global Threat from Deadly Bacteria and Our Dwindling Arsenal to Fight Them
Book (Prometheus Books)
Henry Holt and Co. Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues
eBooks (Henry Holt and Co.)
National Academies Press The Resistance Phenomenon in Microbes and Infectious Disease Vectors: Implications for Human Health and Strategies for Containment -- Workshop Summary
Book (National Academies Press)
Switch hitters: antibacterial compounds target new mechanism to kill microbes.(This Week): An article from: Science News
Book (Thomson Gale)