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Antibiotic development and resistance

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Please look at the following websites to help find information and answer the following questions. I have read the the information and suppose I am just looking for "specific quotes" but think I may need someone to put it in simpler terms.


1. Why is it easier to develop drugs to kill bacteria than viruses or protozoa?

2. Why are some antibacterial drugs only used on the skin?

3. How do microbes become resistant to antimicrobial control methods?

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"Antibiotics that kill bacteria" is kind superfluous, since by definition antibiotics ONLY kill bacteria. For questions number 1 and 2, the answers are not really in the website you mentioned. It needs a little more research into the subject. I am providing here a brief explanation to the questions and a guideline of how to address them. There are plenty of references on the internet and textbooks, as these are generally known facts. For question 3, I took it out of your second website, which is very comprehensive and you should try to review and understand the material as much as you can.

1. It is easier to develop drugs against bacteria since they are easy targets. Most of bacterial infections are extracellular, which means that they don't need to go into host cells to ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses reasons why antibiotics are easier to develop compared to antivirals or anti-protozoa. It also discuss the usage of antibiotics topically, and describe possible mechanisms of how microbes acquire resistance to antimicrobials.

See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Can further evolution of antibiotic resistance can or cannot be prevented.

The evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacterial populations is a direct consequence of natural selection applied by widespread use of antibiotic drugs. When a new antibiotic is first introduced, it kills the vast majority of bacteria exposed to it. The surviving bacterial cells, however, may include individuals whose genomes happen to include a mutant gene that confers resistance. As Darwin understood, individuals carrying the resistance gene will leave behind a disproportionately large share of offspring, which inherit the gene. If the environment consistently contains an antibiotic, bacteria carrying the resistance gene will eventually come to predominate. Because bacteria reproduce so rapidly and have comparatively high rates of mutation, evolutionary change leading to resistant populations is often rapid.

We have accelerated the pace of the evolution of antibiotic resistance by introducing massive quantities of antibiotics into the bacteria's environment. Each year, U.S. physicians prescribe more than 100 million courses of antibiotics; the Centers for Disease Control estimate that about half of these prescriptions are unnecessary. An additional 20 million pounds of antibiotics are fed to farm animals annually. The use of antibacterial soaps and cleansers has become routine in many households. As a result of this massive alteration of the bacterial environment, resistant bacteria are now found not only in hospitals and the bodies of sick people but are also widespread in our food supply and in the environment. Our heavy use (many would say overuse) of antibiotics means that susceptible bacteria are under constant attack and that resistant strains have little competition. In our fight against disease, we rashly overlooked some basic principles of evolutionary biology and are now paying a heavy price.

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