Antibiotics 101 - What You Absolutely Need to Know
Antibiotics are reported to be the best contribution of present day science helping the doctors to believe beyond microorganinsms.their importance is felt a lot more in developing countries where in fact the infections are prevalent. There exists a mushrooming of antibiotics since last few decades due to both need and the demand of aseptic conditions both in and from the hospital.
What are antibiotics?
Antibiotics are chemical or biological substances either made by microorganisms or are produced artificially to kill or inhibit the growth of other microorganisms. They're used at suprisingly low concentrations.
What will vary types?
As you can find innumerable antibiotics which are presently used, differing people classify them differently for e.g. the ones that kill or those just inhibit the action of the microorganisms, in accordance with their chemical nature, based on the forms of organisms they kill, based on the no of various kinds of microorganisms, their mechanism of action therefore hence etc.
How do they work?
Some antibiotics for e.g. penicillins inhibit the cell wall synthesis of the bacteria, some like acyclovir inhibit the DNA synthesis, some like sulfonamides hinder the metabolism but still others like tetracyclines inhibit protein synthesis. Similarly there are several others with different mechanism of action designed to be directed at specific function of the bacteria or virus.
Is there any dependence on them?
After their discovery and introduction in to the world of medicine, initially these were used judicially but nowadays as increasingly more antibiotics are increasingly being developed and there's been a pressure on the physicians for an aseptic environment , these kind of drugs appear to be overused. It has caused many fold problems. One problem is of toxicity which means that when the dose is a lot bigger than expected then it could result in accumulation in your body and could even result in death in some instances. Second problem is of hypersensitivity, meaning that certain antibiotics for e.g. penicillins could cause hypersensitive reactions in your body, which sometimes could be quite severe. However the most significant problem and the issue, which includes attracted much concern on the list of medical fraternity, is that of resistance. Certain microorganisms for e.g. Staphylococcus are recognized to get quick resistance contrary to the antibiotics and you also have to be cautious before with them blindly.
What do we mean by resistance?
By resistance we imply that a microorganism is either not responding or responding minimally to an antibiotic to which that microorganism used to respond earlier. There are many mechanisms where they develop resistance which could be making themselves impermeable to the drugs or making them inactive or mutating themselves, etc.
What may be the latest research going on?
At present the most recent research that's going on would be to how to decrease the usage of antibiotics through the use of them judicially so the microbes may not fall to the prey of resistance and be useless to us.