Evolution of Resistant Bacteria

Key Questions

  • You are not actually causing the evolution of antibiotic resistant bacteria. You are selecting for ones that are already there.
    In a mixed population of a species of bacteria, there are ones that are different just as in the human species. Your DNA make-up is slightly different than any other human.

    By adding a change to the environment, you will find that some individuals will do better than others in that new environment.
    By adding antibiotics, you will select those bacteria that will do better and may survive and others will not.

    The best way to prevent this is to use antibiotics only when necessary.
    Do not use them for virus infections or fungal infections.
    Test each time to select the best antibiotic for the infection.
    Use the antibiotic for the entire time as prescribed and do not stop just because you are feeling better.
    Do not use hand soaps and other products that have antibiotics in them. Plain soap and water will do the job. Being exposed to a few bacteria will help you build up resistances.

  • The cause of antibiotic resistant forms is the use of antibiotics themselves. These resistant forms are found in what are considered "native" or "natural" communities. Each of the members is slightly different, just as you and I am.

    Changing the environment by adding an antibiotic, we are selecting for ones who have the genes that allow them to thrive.

    Not all antibiotic use does this. Some communities do not have the genes to resist.

    Staph aureus has those with resistant genes and so does tubercle bacillus.

    To control these bacteria we have to find other antibiotics. We can cause multiple antibiotic forms to arise by doing that.

    Progress is happening to see if there are solutions to this problem.

    MERSA has been transferred and covers this plate. A disc of Oxacillin has been placed in the center and the plate has been incubated for a day. If the Oxacillin would control this streak, there would be a ring of clear agar around the disc.