Impacts of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment. Impacts of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria: Thanks to penicillin– He will come home!. [Washington D.C.]. UNT Digital Library http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc39767/. Accessed October 21, 2016.

This book from the United States Congress Office of Technology Assessment discusses the phenomenon known as antibiotic resistant bacteria and the possible effects should it continue. Antibiotic research has allowed for the development of many other antibiotics besides penicillin, the first antibiotic. Unfortunately, most of these antibiotics are rendered ineffective very shortly. The evolution of drug resistant bacteria is galvanized by the use of antibiotics, as only the most resistant bacteria from each round of antibiotics will survive and reproduce. Antibiotics can be considered a miracle medicine, as countless lives have been saved from inevitable deaths. However, every instance of antibiotic use makes them less effective. There are very few antibiotics left that can still act as a cure all, and what will happen once those run out? This book seeks to explain that the only way to preserve the effectiveness of modern antibiotics is to use them far less liberally and to put more time and money into researching new antibiotics. Antibiotic resistant bacteria is more than a threat to the human body, it also represents a huge drain to society as good antibiotics are expensive and it takes time to eradicate the body fully of resistant bacteria. After all of these aspects, several billions of dollars are lost to bacterial infections. This will only get worse as fewer antibiotics maintain their effectiveness. This is a situation that has the possibility of completely spinning out of control with little chance of recovery. One day we could be faced with a super-bacteria with no way to combat it. As long as antibiotics continue to be handed out like candies, this is a very distinct possibility.

The authors of this book deliver information in a very succinct and jargon-less manner. This helps make its argument that antibiotics are being misused very convincing and easy to understand. For this reason, this writing can appeal to a large audience who wants to know more about why antibiotics are becoming less effective. Antibiotics are a huge part of anyone’s life if they’ve ever been to the doctor about an illness. That makes this book much more applicable to their lives. Also, we can establish this book as a very credible source, as it was put together by a panel of scientists and researchers as well as the US Government.

This book is an excellent find for my research. Even though it was published in 1995, the questions and concerns raised by it still apply 21 years later. Everyone has used antibiotics at one point or another during their lives, and they probably don’t realize how amazing of an invention it is. Humans were, at one point, at the mercy of any disease they contracted. Antibiotics created a solution for a problem that claimed billion of lives over the course of history. It will be useful to illustrate in my paper the roots and weaknesses of something that people use so often without thinking of it.

Antibiotic resistance will affect more than just individual lives, as evidenced by this research from the US Government. So far when considering the topic of drug-resistant bacteria, we only considered the personal cost of losing antibiotics. On a much larger scale, society will feel a much larger impact, as super bacteria will cause a huge drain on the healthcare industry and modern medicine will never be as effective again. Why is it that this issue isn’t at the front of everyone’s minds?

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Connor Hill

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