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Organ System and Evolution Essay

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Updated: May 13th, 2022

Antibiotic medications have been used for a long time to kill infectious bacteria that cause diseases. The medications have made a great contribution to human life as several bacterial diseases that used to kill people in the past can now be dealt with using the medications. Unfortunately, some bacteria have developed resistance to the antibiotics that were once used to kill them (Schmidt, 2009).

The resistant bacteria can survive and continue to multiply even in the presence of the antibiotics that were once used to eradicate them. An example of an antibiotic-resistant bacterium is Staphylococcus aureus (‘golden staph’). Golden staph has built resistance against most of the antibiotics, such as gentamycin, penicillin, and methicillin, which were used to treat infections caused by it. Golden staph causes infections such as scalded skin syndrome, bloodstream infections, impetigo, bone infections, and pneumonia (Edlin & Golanty, 2012).

The principles of natural selection and evolution of a trait can be used to explain how the antibiotics resistant golden staph bacteria evolved. The principles assert that, with time, variation, and heredity, bacteria evolve when selective pressure, such as antibiotics, is introduced to them. The selective pressures include using mild doses of antibiotics for a long time to treat bacterial infections, using them to treat viral infections, and failing to complete the prescribed doses (Edlin & Golanty, 2012).

There will be a serious consequence to human health if golden staph continues to resist antibiotics. Firstly, there will be an extensive increase in the number of infections caused by golden staph. Secondly, the infections are likely to become mild as there would be no medications to control them. Lastly, the health sector may have to spend huge amounts of money in trying to develop new antibiotics to eradicate golden staph-related infections (Schmidt, 2009).

Several steps can be taken to slow down the golden staph’s resistance to gentamycin, penicillin, and methicillin. Firstly, physicians should desist from using antibiotics to treat viral infections. Secondly, the physicians should stop prescribing mild doses of these antibiotics over a very long period. Lastly, the physicians should use a combination of antibiotics and other drugs to treat infections caused by the bacterium. These steps, if strictly followed, are likely to slow down golden staph’s resistance to the three antibiotic drugs (Schmidt, 2009).

References

Edlin, G., & Golanty, E. (2012). Health and wellness. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Schmidt, M. A. (2009). Beyond antibiotics: Strategies for living in a world of emerging infections and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

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