MRSA Treatment – Why Antibiotics Fail…
Antibiotic resistance by pathogenic bacteria such as MRSA is a concern to anyone, the young and the old, the healthy and the chronically ill. It is particularly a serious concern for people who are critically ill and patients with a compromised immune system.
The following causes increase bacterial resistance to antibiotics:
1. Long term use of antibiotics
2. Misuse of antibiotics
3. Using antibiotics that kill a wide variety of bacteria
There are several ways bacteria counter your antibiotics. These include:
1. Preventing the antibiotic from getting to its target
This is done when bacteria alters its cell wall structure making it impermeable to antibiotics. This is also done when bacteria produce a molecule that binds to the drug. If the antibiotic enters the bacterial cell, this molecule will take it out before it can affect the bacteria.
2. Changing the target
Antibiotics work on bacteria by binding to it. However, sometimes the bacteria respond by changing their structure so antibiotics don’t recognize it.
3. Destroying the antibiotic
This is an extreme mechanism adopted by dangerous bacteria like MRSA. Here the bacteria neutralize the antibiotic directly. For example, a resistant strain of MRSA bacteria produces enzymes called β -lactamases that destroy penicillin.
Many bacteria do not initially have the ability to grow resistant to antibiotics. However, this phenomenon develops when the bacteria acquire a gene allowing them to do so. This occurs one of the following ways:
I. During Transformation
This is a process where the bacteria alters its DNA composition by incorporating foreign genetic material called plasmids. One plasmid can encode resistance to many different antibiotics.
II. Through a Transpose
This is when the genes change position within the genome causing mutations.
III. By Scavenging DNA Remnants from Dead Bacteria
When a resistant gene gets incorporated to the bacterial chromosomes all of its offspring will carry this and the resistance will continue.
Each year in America about 2 million people are hospitalized due to various bacterial infections. Out of that, about 90,000 die each year. The physicians have found out that of the people who are hospitalized, about 70% are infected with resistant bacteria.