Living in a post antibiotic world…a reality I would rather not experience – Part 3
This is part 3 of a 3 part blog on antimicrobial resistance. In this final instalment I am expanding on the primer presented in Part 1.
Part 1 – 5 Easy Things You Can Do To Reduce Antimicrobial Resistance and a primer on the issue of antimicrobial resistance
Part 2 – Alternatives to Medicinal Antimicrobial Use
Part 3- Antimicrobial Resistance – The Science Stuff
I am again starting with the good news. After the good news I am going to really geek-out and talk about the research and science around antimicrobial resistance. At the end of this blog I have included a list of some resources that will give you lots more information about antimicrobial resistance.
The Good News...
There are things we can do - 5 Easy Things You can do to Reduce Antimicrobial Resistance
There are Alternatives to Medicinal Antimicrobial Use
The Best News…
Using fewer antimicrobials may effectively eliminate antimicrobial resistant ‘superbug’ populations!
Microbes compete with each other for resources. Studies suggest that carting around antimicrobial resistance is hard work and superbugs require more resources to reproduce – in more scientific terms, there is a fitness cost associated with antimicrobial resistance. Paying the fitness cost of antimicrobial resistance makes evolutionary sense as long as there is a selective pressure to do so - i.e. antimicrobials keep killing your competition and clearing the way for your offspring. Eliminating the selective pressure to have antimicrobial resistance (eliminating the use of antimicrobials) will put superbugs at a competitive disadvantage since they require more resources to produce offspring. In the absence of antimicrobials superbugs will have to either drop their antimicrobial resistance or be overtaken by the competition.