Dr. Overy's KBase: Resources for Teaching and Learning

B1.2 Notes and Active Links (Part 2)

Article ID: 366
Last updated: 30 Sep, 2015

Students should know that: .......

(h) Some medicines, including painkillers, help to relieve the symptoms of infectious disease, but do not kill the pathogens. Antibiotics, including penicillin, are medicines that help to cure bacterial disease by killing infectious bacteria inside the body. Antibiotics cannot be used to kill viral pathogens, which live and reproduce inside cells. It is important that specific bacteria should be treated by specific antibiotics. The use of antibiotics has greatly reduced deaths from infectious bacterial diseases. Overuse and inappropriate use of antibiotics has increased the rate of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.

Links:  Key facts about antibiotics         Antibiotics Awareness Campaign  

( i )  Many strains of bacteria, including MRSA, have developed resistance to antibiotics as a result of natural selection. To prevent further resistance arising it is important to avoid overuse of antibiotics.

( j )  Mutations of pathogens produce new strains. Antibiotics and vaccinations may no longer be effective against a new resistant strain of the pathogen. The new strain will then spread rapidly because people are not immune to it and there is no effective treatment.

Links:  Antimicrobial resistance      Alliance for the prudent use of antibiotics

Higher Tier candidates should also understand that:

antibiotics kill individual pathogens of the non-resistant strain individual resistant pathogens survive and reproduce,  so the population of the resistant strain increases now,  antibiotics are no longer used to treat non-serious infections,  such as mild throat infections,  so that the rate of development of resistant strains is slowed down.

Link: Antibiotic resistance: delaying the inevitable

Article ID: 366
Last updated: 30 Sep, 2015
Revision: 11
Views: 36
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B1.2 Notes and Active Links (Part 1)       B1.2 Notes and Active Links (Part 3)