Antibiotic Resistance and Alternatives
Antibiotics have been commonly, though mistakenly, thought of as the ultimate cure, for almost all illness, for over half a century now. However, the intended use of antibiotics is for the treatment of bacterial infections and diseases. Viruses or fungi-related illnesses will not be affected by antibiotics. This misunderstanding of the use of antibiotics has led to overuse, or the misuse, of antibiotics, in a wide range of countries worldwide. As a result of overuse, misuse, and abuse, antibiotics, once hailed as the savior of mankind, are an increasing threat as bacteria grow ever stronger. (Bunyard) The development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria poses a looming threat to the medical industry and to society. A quick look into modern newspapers or journals would reveal startling reports about antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as superbugs, and how devastating their emergence could potentially be. (Ed. Bonomo and Ed. Tolmasky) Worldwide, hundreds of thousands die each year due to bacterial infections that can no longer be controlled. These deaths are the ultimate consequence of over-the-counter sales of antibiotics, patient pressure on doctors always to prescribe and the indiscriminate use, especially in the U.S., of antibiotics as growth factors in intensive farming, including the spraying of orchards with antibiotics. (Bunyard) Alternative antibacterial agents with fundamentally different modes of action than that of traditional antibiotics is desperately needed to stop bacteria from continuing to cause illnesses, once treatable, from becoming, once again, untreatable and deadly illnesses. (Parisien, Allain and Mandeville)
An antibiotic is a naturally produced agent that destroys bacteria, but has no effect on viruses, and that is used as a medication. (Encarta World Dictionary) Our most trusted antibiotic, penicillin, was... [continues]
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