South University Online
Instructor Raven, Biology I
Evolution and Antibiotic Resistance
When we, mankind, get the flu or a headache or muscle aches, what is the first thing that we usually do? We want it gone and we want it gone as soon as possible so we reach for the antibiotics! Antibiotics have been the corner stone of hope for the sick and dying people of our society. This hope, however, has a dark lining that has more recently begun to show through the miracle of antibiotics. Mankind has great abused the use of antibiotics by over usage, and as a result, viruses are evolving and becoming resistant to antibiotics.
Resistance to antibiotics, and most likely to pesticides as well, is mainly a consequence of the abuse of these powerful weapons. “Antibiotics are overused by doctors, both in outpatient and inpatient settings, and self-medication is common, especially in developing countries.” (Vento, 2010) Studies have shown that bacteria and viruses are becoming more and more drug and antibiotic resistant. The widespread use of antibiotics has consequently caused a widespread evolution of bacteria and viruses. As a result, new antibiotics are required to fight the now stronger and more dangerous versions of the same illnesses that, at one point, could have been fought off without the use of antibiotics! “It is widely accepted that downward trends in antibiotic susceptibility to a given antibiotic are inversely related to the rising use of that antibiotic. On the other hand, it may be that rising resistance is not directly correlated to the volume of use but, rather, to misuse...” (Bosso, 2010) Because of the evolvement of bacteria and viruses, doctors are searching for new ways to fight back. “The battle against antibiotic-resistant bacteria demands new drugs and smarter, more responsible ways to use existing ones.”(Baker, 2005). Doctors and scientists are scrambling to find a way around the...