All We Need To Know About Bacteria

Picture from microbiologyonline.org

Ngebray.com,- Bacteria are everywhere. The tiny bugs can double their populations every few minutes and can live on any surface. Some bacteria can cause serious health problems. When they enter our bodies, they emit toxins and sometimes our immune systems can’t fight them all. They make us sick from strep, tuberculosis, syphilis, and other infections. Decades ago, many people who are infected, suffered, and died.

In 1940s, the first medical antibiotic was made for mold to destroy bacteria. It was called penicillin and it helps to increase life expectancy by ten years in just a few decades. Each bacterium is a single cell with a cell wall. Antibiotis assault the bacteria by destroying the wall or by impairing its growth or by destroying its DNA. Some antibiotics target specific bacteria while others seek and destroy a number of different types.

Picture from telegraph.co.uk

Since their arrival, antibiotics have been both overused and misused. We take them for the flu which isn’t affected by these drugs. But 80% of antibiotics sold are used in livestock, so they can end up in our water and food sources. While the drugs kill a great many bacteria, a few adapt mutate into superbugs. They develop pumps that eject antibiotics before produce enzymes that destroy them with fewer bacteria competing for resources, those super strains thrive. Drug-resistant illness kills 700,000 worldwide each year. 10 Million deaths are expected in 30 years outpacing cancer death.

The answer may not be to just race for new and better drugs, but to put the brakes on how we use old one. This means treating antibiotics more as a drug of last resort and limiting their use in farming. That won’t be easy but it may be the only way to get superbugs before they get us.