Antibiotics and antibiotic resistance can very quickly become abstract concepts, and it may seem strange that medications that I am getting might carry more significance then actually getting me better. What is the connection between my common cold and future superbacteria? To clarify; It is the bacteria that develop resistance, not us as individuals. Resistance comes from Latin: “Resist” . So, just as we use antibiotics to fight off bacteria, the bacteria develop defense mechanisms against the antibiotics. Some bacteria can also exchange such “defense secrets” between themselves.
In order to limit the resistance to antibiotics doctors and nurses are taking samples from patients. The samples are being tested in a laboratory to see what antibiotic is the most efficient for that bacteria. You may have heard of the terms “narrow-spectrum” and “broad- spectrum antibiotics”. The broad-spectrum ones works in many different ways whereas the narrow-spectrum ones are more limited, thus the drug of choice when we want to mitigate antibiotic resistance. So if your doctor first takes a test of you and awaits the answer to it before you get antibiotics, that means the doctor does a good job, and she does if she gives you a narrow-range antibiotics. As a rule of thumb, you can distinguish between the narrow spectrum and broad spectrum antibiotics how many times to take them. Should you take one or two tablets to the day, it is broadly wide, while if you are going to take it three or four is the narrow spectrum.
These posts about antibiotics and antibiotic resistance are simplified, but WMC hopes that these concepts has become clearer. There are bacteria everywhere, and if we can no longer treat infections caused by them, it will for example make most cases of surgery high risk. We need to work together to make sure that future generations also have treatment options for bacterial infections.
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