Antibiotic resistance is the ability of microorganisms to live in the presence of antibiotic that usually kills them. This phenomenon became quite widespread mainly because antibiotics are prescribed against wrong diseases and in wrong amounts. Initially, antibiotics were developed to kill bacteria; these substances are ineffective with viruses, nevertheless, in a majority of cases with viral infections doctors tend to prescribe antibiotics.
There are two main ways to develop antibiotic resistance in bacteria – to follow an improper prescription or to change the dosage prescribed by the doctor. Every particular bacterium requires a certain amount of antibiotic to be killed. In case if a patient took less antibiotic than necessary, bacterium adjusts to the external influence and develops something like an immune resistance to this particular substance. It usually happens when patients do not follow the prescription, abrupt the course before it is finished, or use antibiotics without any prescription.
The danger of antibiotic resistant bacteria lies in doctors’ inability to approach them. As bacteria mutate, diseases that were easy to cure in the past become very difficult to treat. Doctors need to use more complex substances that have more side effects and less impact upon the bacteria itself. Patients with diseases caused by antibiotic resistance bacteria are likely to stay for a longer time at the hospital and risk to develop complications after the treatment is finished.
Bacteria difficult to approach are also a challenge to pharmacists. Currently, we have various types of antibiotics, nevertheless, not all of them are interchangeable. The more microorganisms do not respond to the existing substance, the harder pharmacists shall try to develop more drugs to kill them.