What is Antibiotic resistance?

  • Antibiotics are medicines used to prevent and treat bacterial infections. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in response to the use of these medicines.
  • Bacteria, not humans or animals, become antibiotic-resistant.
  • These bacteria may infect humans and animals, and the infections they cause are harder to treat than those caused by non-resistant bacteria.
  • Antibiotic resistance leads to higher medical costs, prolonged hospital stays, and increased mortality.
  • Antibiotic resistance is a consequence of evolution via natural selection.
  • Other factors contributing towards resistance include incorrect diagnosis, unnecessary prescriptions, improper use of antibiotics by patients, and the use of antibiotics as livestock food additives for growth promotion.

In news;

  • The government has commissioned a study to assess the microbial diversity along the entire length of the Ganga.
  • The study will undertake tests entire stretches of the 2,500 km Ganga river if it contain microbes that may promote “antibiotic resistance”.

The aims of the research project are:

  1. To indicate the type of “contamination” (sewage and industrial) in the river and “threat to human health (antibiotic resistance surge)”,
  2. To identify sources of Escherichia coli, a type of bacteria that lives in the gut of animals and humans.
  • While largely harmless, some species have been linked to intestinal disease as well as aggravating antibiotic resistance.


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