Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic resistance takes place when an antibiotic is unable to kill a bacteria or inhibit its growth. The bacteria, therefore, become resistant to a wide range of known antibiotics. The condition is commonly referred to as MRSA. Bacteria become antibiotic resistant when they come up with mechanisms to prevent antibiotic action on them. Bacteria contain a cell wall, whose production when inhibited will limit survival. For antibiotics to be effective on bacteria, they limit cell wall production, block synthesis of DNA and RNA and also interfere with protein synthesis. Through mutation and other defense mechanism, bacteria can resist this antibiotic action on them, hence termed as resistant.

Neisseria gonorrhoeae is one of the bacteria that has been verified to have high antibiotic resistance. It is highly resistant to antibiotics such as penicillin. This antibiotic kills bacterium by inhibiting the enzyme transpeptidase which is responsible for the last step of cell wall biosynthesis. Penicillin’s mechanism action is to hinder new cell wall formation. Hence the bacterium is exposed to outside pressure and quickly dies.

Due to improper usage of antibiotics, bacteria are likely to be resistant, thus causing increased rate of mutations and transfer of genetic information for resistance to antibiotics. Chromosomal mutations of Neisseria gonorrhoeae has weakened penicillin penetration on the outer membrane. There has been a high-level penicillin resistance in the mutated Neisseria gonorrhoeae with plasmid-mediated penicillinase production.

Horizontal transfer of genetic information occurs when there is gene transfer between different species of bacteria. Resistant bacteria are transmitted through physical contact, and it could also be airborne. It can be regulated by observation of hygiene and following medical prescriptions of antibiotics administered. In animal husbandry, regular MRSA screening should be done to avoid the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

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