Assignment 2

Assignment 2: Essay- A bug’s life: How different would world without antibiotics be?
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Table of Contents

Background information 3
Main discussion 4
Conclusion 7
References 9

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Background information
Antibiotics are antimicrobial agents, which controls the bacterial load in the human body by either slowing down or inhibiting the growth of the bacteria or by killing them directly. The antibiotics are different from other antimicrobials in the aspect that they are utilized against bacteria, on human bodies solely, unlike the antiseptics and disinfectants, which are utilized against a whole range of microorganisms both on the surfaces of living as well as non-living agents (Alharbi et al., 2014). Of all the disease-causing microbes or pathogens, which potentially cause diseases among the humans, Bacteria are the ones responsible for causing the majority of them; thus, the importance of antibiotics in the healthcare sector is immense and aids humans to stay healthy and disease-free. Apart from the prevention of diseases, antibiotics are also used to prevent the occurrence of life-threatening infections that can occur following surgical procedures. Surgeries like appendectomy, organ transplantations as well as the ones conducted to seal wounds received from bullets and other such potent shrapnel, responsible for causing injury, are a common part of modern life. It involves the formation of open cuts during the process, which can act as a gateway for the entry of the microbes into the body and can lead to the formation of a number of infections, if not prevented from multiplying, which is where antibiotics play a role and thus, are used extensively in the healthcare sector.
According to Cooper.imb.uq.edu.au. (2018), ‘Superbugs’ is a term which is used for referring to the microorganisms, especially bacteria, which have gained the ability to resist antibiotics and are thus, not killed by the same, even when they are applied in lethal dosages. The process in which the organisms gain resistance to the antibiotics can be explained with reference to the processes of mutation, evolutionary theory and the process of transformation as well as conjugation. Mutation refers to the process of change in the base pairs of the DNA- their chemical composition, their isomerism structures or their arrangement, which aids the organisms to exhibit changed characteristics, which includes resistance to antibiotics. Sometimes, the bacteria are able to gain plasmids, which are extra-chromosomal DNA materials, from the environment or from other bacterial population, through the processes of conjugation or transformation, which helps them gain antibiotic resistance (www.antimicrobial-resistance.biomerieux.com., 2018). When the bacteria, especially the pathogenic ones becomes resistant to antibiotics, it becomes difficult to kill them or control them; this raises the concern for healthcare since it is important to kill or control the population of pathogenic strains of bacteria for keeping the humans safe and disease-free.
The antibiotics often target the metabolic processes or the nuclear materials of the bacteria for killing them. As a result of mutation, often the enzymes responsible for the metabolic processes gets modified or the nuclear materials like the DNA or the RNA encounters changes in their isomeric confirmation, which is why they cannot be destroyed by the antibiotics (Saveourantibiotics.org., 2018). Furthermore, indiscriminate use of antibiotics and thus, greater exposure of the bacterial strains to a variety of antibiotics increases the chances of mutation among the bacterial population, since as per the laws of evolution, the population that is exposed to adverse conditions more are at an increased chance of being mutated.
As opined by Phys.org. (2018), if the antibiotics had not been present, then treating the patients would have been difficult. However, the role of antibiotics in the rise of antibiotic-resistance among the bacterial population cannot be denied too, which has made treating the patients way too difficult. The way the world would have been different had the antibiotics not been discovered is the topic of discussion of this essay.
Main discussion
Theme 1: The impact of superbugs on the healthcare sector
According to microbiologysociety.org (2018), bacterial pathogens are responsible for causing diseases that are communicable in nature, that is which can be transferred from one patient to another. The organisms that are commonly involved in causing communicable diseases includes species of Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Corynebacterium genuses as well as strains of Escherichia coli, Haemophilus influenzae and few such variants. Many of these organisms reside on the body of humans as normal microbiota and usually does not cause any harm. However, few of them like Staphylococcus aureus, when gains entry inside the body and access to the inner tissues, often causes infection. Such organisms are usually termed as ‘opportunistic pathogen’ and can be of serious concern, especially when the patients are compromised immunologically. Under such situations, if the organisms gain antibiotic resistance, then it becomes very difficult to protect the patient from the invasion by such opportunistic pathogens and thus, the humans become more prone to diseases and infections.
According to Dnadarwin.org. (2018), infectious diseases are a leading cause of mortality among the global population; in European Union member states alone, there are around 25,000 deaths occurring annually, majority of which can be attributed to the occurrence of antibiotic resistance among the pathogens. The transmission of antibiotic-resistant strains from one patient to another is more common in the hospital setting, since the patients in the hospital are usually in immunologically compromised state, owing to their diseased conditions. The main cause of rising concern associated with nosocomial infections can be attributed to the incidence of antibiotic resistance among the pathogens, which in turn, increases the length of stay of the patients in the hospital. This, indirectly, excises an adverse impact on the economy of the state or the concerned nation, since the longer the patients stay unwell, the longer they are unable to participate in their jobs and thus, there is economic loss. Owing to the increase in the nosocomial infections, the hospitals and nursing homes have to adopt extra preventive measures in order to ensure that the patients stay safe, which brings in extra economic implications and thus, can be considered as a negative impact.
According to Fair and Tor, (2014), the antibiotic resistivity of pathogens and its significant negative impact on the healthcare sector mandates adoption of changes in practice in the healthcare sector. The interventions that needs to be adopted in order to prevent the transmission of infection, even in the general wards as well as the ways in which the surgical instruments are stored and the operating rooms are cleaned have changed significantly, since the emergence of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. The superbugs tend to exhibit greater adaptivity to adverse environmental and survival conditions and thus, the healthcare professionals need to re-consider all the standard ways of patient handling as well as the associated medical practices, in order to ensure their safety and survival.
Theme 2: The effect of the absence of antibiotics on the modern life as well as on the evolution of superbugs
According to Who.int. (2018), a life without antibiotics, in the modern world, is unimaginable. The antibiotics are an important part of the modern-day medicinal practice; without it, treating the patients would have been difficult as would have been ensuring their safekeeping and preventing them from contracting serious communicable diseases. Absence of antibiotics would have meant absence of the drug-resistant superbugs as well. On one hand, this would have benefitted the mankind; however, there would have been several complications that would have arisen owing to the absence of antibiotics.
According to Piddock, (2012), it has also been observed that after the development of antibiotics in different countries, they have easily conquered the infections and since then the issues are continuing to exist in the society. There are also certain a virus that exists that science has manipulated to lessen the chances of HIV.
From the studies, it has been observed that the critical specialists are dealing with the antibiotics on a regular basis for treating the patients who have a long stay under treatment thereby involving with different antimicrobial therapies that are highly prone to spread the antibiotic resistance genes.
Thus, it can be stated that the Crtical Care are highly focused on the launch of a new series that depicts the different problems that can be aroused as “Antibiotics resistance in the ICU”. It has also been observed that in today’s world, several adolescents, adults and the young children are going to die due to bacterial pneumonia, poly microbial infections and wounds that would lead the hospitals to be overloaded in the near future. Therefore, it can be added that, the doctors and the nurses would be in high dilemma regarding whether to treat the patients with proper medication or to shift them to palliative care where they can be kept isolated from the other patients as their health issues would lead to the spread of the superbug to other patients (Dickey et al., 2017). In case of invasive procedures of treatment from catheters and cannuals to hip replacements to open heart surgery would highly risk would lead to the death of the patients due to the drug resistant bacterial infection. There are several other medical treatments as well involving chemotherapies and transplantation of organisation need to be done within high bio-security facilities as those are considered to be a very critical surgery and therefore the immunity power may not be driving therefore it can lead to the spread of the bacterial infections to the patients very easily. Therefore, it is highly essential for the doctors and the nurses to treat the antibiotics in an effective manner as it will help in curing the issue in an effective manner for a longer period of time (Bassetti et al., 2013).
In the current world scenario, it can be added that the antibiotics are considered to be one of the few medicines available that affects the community as a whole through a single individual. Thus, the doctors and the nurses are highly required to treat their patients accordingly so that the bacterial infection does not spread to other patients. In this case, it can also be stated that this would also lead the doctors and the nurses in dilemma regarding the procedures to be selected for the treatment of the patients with Antibiotics in an effective manner. Moreover, it can also be added that if the antibiotics were not produced more life would be more difficult. These health issues would also continue for the upcoming generations as well. In this case, it can also be mentioned that as opined by Waddington, (2017), in Australia around, 7000 people die every year for getting proper treatment for sepsis and bacteremia. Therefore, it is quite an evident fact that the world needs antibiotics so that they can treat people with efficacy and this can also lessen the chances of spreading and ever growing bacteremia and other diseases that are infectious enough to kill people with time. Thus, it can also be stated that it has been studied by clinical researchers that if from the past people have not learnt regarding the treatment and developing antibiotics then nothing will be left but to watch the people die due to the disease. Therefore, it is highly essential for the medical researchers to produce to the medicines more else have to watch people die due to the lack of the most precious medical cures thereby leaving by with destroying outcomes in the near future. Proper treatment is highly required by the people suffering from these diseases so that the disease does not continue to exist in different generations. It can also be stated that there are also other antibiotic resistance (Murray et al., 2015). Now a days, the doctors have also been very serious of the usage of the antibiotics as these can spread severe health problems from individual to individuals. For example parents who comes with their child for their running nose does not prescribe them with the antibiotics. Hence, it can be proved that the usage of the antibitocs for every health issues has been reduced for the betterment of the society and the community as well.
Without the antibiotics, there would have been absolutely no necessity for the microorganisms to adapt to harsh conditions that are brought about by the presence of antibiotics. The plasmids for antibiotic resistance would not have evolved and neither would have been transferred among the other bacterial populations. This would have ensured that the microbes stayed sensitive to the native antibiotics and even, evolution of new types of pathogens could have been prevented, which meant that there would have been less occurrence of complex healthcare issues and infections.
Conclusion
The life of modern man is unimaginable without access to modern medicines to control infections and without safer methods available to undergo surgeries, as and when required. Owing to the increase in the number of accidents that occurs in modern life as well as the complex health issues that have cropped up, owing to the evolution of newer species of bacteria as well as other pathogens, antibiotics form an essential component of modern life. The antibiotics are used for treating a variety of conditions, ranging from simple fever and infections to the prevention of occurrence of infection in patients, following surgical procedures. The surgeries like hip replacements as well as addition of prosthetics to substitute broken bones in the body enables the individuals with ailments like hip joint fractures or other similar such debilitating conditions to move about effortlessly and perform their actions, without any external assistance. These surgical procedures involve making deep incisions on the unabraised skin and insertion of the prosthetics into the physiological systems, which increases the risk of infections. The microorganisms often forms slimy capsules, in order to stick to the smooth surfaces of the prosthetics, especially strains of Staphylococcus aureus. When such prosthetics are inserted into the body of the patients, then the bacteria infects the systems and leads to the occurrence of severe complications like high fever, physiological dysfunctions like arrhythmias, irregular pulses and blood pressure and in extreme cases, septicaemia. In order to avoid the same, the antibiotics that act as cell-wall inhibitors were initially used.
However, with the evolution of the drug-resistant strains, it became impossible to control such infections with normal antibiotics and nowadays, researches are being carried out to invent such chemicals which prevents the formation of slime layers in the prosthetics as well as develop prosthetics from such materials which does not support the formation of slime layer. This involves lot of finances and thus, the economic implications of the problem is significantly high. With the absence of the antibiotics, the drug-resistant plasmids would not have evolved as a result of mutation and thus, there would have been no such drug resistant organisms; this would have made the life a lot more easier.
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References
Alharbi, S., Wainwright, M., Alahmadi, T., Salleeh, H., Faden, A. and Chinnathambi, A. (2014). What if Fleming had not discovered penicillin?. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, 21(4), pp.289-293.
Bassetti, M., Merelli, M., Temperoni, C. and Astilean, A., 2013. New antibiotics for bad bugs: where are we?. Annals of clinical microbiology and antimicrobials, 12(1), p.22.
Carlet, J., Jarlier, V., Harbarth, S., Voss, A., Goossens, H. and Pittet, D. (2012). Ready for a world without antibiotics? The Pensières Antibiotic Resistance Call to Action. Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control, 1(1), p.11.
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Dickey, S.W., Cheung, G.Y. and Otto, M., 2017. Different drugs for bad bugs: antivirulence strategies in the age of antibiotic resistance. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, 16(7), p.457.
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Fair, R. and Tor, Y. (2014). Antibiotics and Bacterial Resistance in the 21st Century. Perspectives in Medicinal Chemistry, 6, p.PMC.S14459.
microbiologysociety.org (2018). What are antibiotics and how do they work?. online Microbiologysociety.org. Available at: https://microbiologysociety.org/education-outreach/antibiotics-unearthed/antibiotics-and-antibiotic-resistance/what-are-antibiotics-and-how-do-they-work.html Accessed 29 Sep. 2018.
Murray, P.R., Rosenthal, K.S. and Pfaller, M.A., 2015. Medical microbiology. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Phys.org. (2018). How bacteria evolve into superbugs. online Available at: https://phys.org/news/2007-07-bacteria-evolve-superbugs.html Accessed 29 Sep. 2018.
Piddock, L.J., 2012. The crisis of no new antibiotics—what is the way forward?. The Lancet infectious diseases, 12(3), pp.249-253.
Saveourantibiotics.org. (2018). online Available at: http://www.saveourantibiotics.org/media/1758/superbugs-and-super-risks-the-investment-case-for-action-briefing-november-2016.pdf Accessed 29 Sep. 2018.
Waddington, C.H., 2017. The nature of life. Routledge.
Who.int. (2018). online Available at: http://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/drugresist/antibiotics.pdf Accessed 29 Sep. 2018.
www.antimicrobial-resistance.biomerieux.com. (2018). Consequences of antibiotic resistance. online Available at: https://www.antimicrobial-resistance.biomerieux.com/popup/antibacterial-resistance-why-we-need-to-care/ Accessed 29 Sep. 2018.