Antibiotic-resistant bacteria can migrate through the body

(ORDO NEWS) — Mold is different, as the world learned in 1928. It was then that the Scottish physician and microbiologist Alexander Fleming, by chance, isolated “penicillin” from it, a substance that kills bacteria.

It’s hard to believe, but before the discovery of the world’s first antibiotic, bacterial infections meant a death sentence, however, like most surgical operations.

Fortunately, the widespread introduction of antimicrobials led to a real revolution in medicine – for example, between 1945 and 1972, life expectancy increased by as much as eight years.

This is because antibiotics inhibit the growth and reproduction of bacteria both inside the body and outside, saving a huge number of lives.

The widespread use of antibiotics, however, has become a problem, with at least 23,000 people dying every year due to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Antibiotic treatment

Any drug that inhibits the growth and reproduction of bacteria belongs to the class of antibiotics. These drugs, however, are not without side effects and are used strictly when needed.

Researchers distinguish two types of antimicrobials – broad-spectrum antibiotics (suppress many types of bacteria) and narrow-spectrum (target specific microbes).

Most antibiotics are made in laboratories and are often based on compounds found in nature.

Some microbes, for example, produce substances specifically to kill other bacteria (so they have an advantage over food, water, and limited resources), but some can only be obtained in a laboratory.

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Antibiotics are a group of drugs that are used in the treatment of bacterial infections

The word “antibiotic” comes from the ancient Greek ἀντί – “against” and βίος – “life” and means a substance that inhibits the growth of living cells.

Technically, an antibiotic is any drug that kills microbes, but most often this term is used when it comes to killing bacteria.

Recall that most bacteria in the human body are harmless, and some, on the contrary, are beneficial.

How to take antibiotics correctly

Not all infections are treated with antibiotics – the common cold, flu, bronchitis and most sore throats are caused by viruses, which means it is useless to treat them with antibiotics.

Antimicrobials are used exclusively to treat bacterial infections such as urinary tract infections (UTIs), meningitis, and ENT diseases.

But since it is not easy to determine the causative agent of the disease right away, the doctor must prescribe tests and, only after receiving the results, begin treatment.

Up to half of the world’s use of antibiotics is excessive, and many bacterial infections go away on their own.

Modern antibiotics come in a variety of forms, including capsules, tablets, liquids, creams, ointments and injections, WHO experts say.

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Antibiotics are substances synthesized by microorganisms that inhibit the reproduction of bacteria and other microbes

In cases where the nature of the causative agent of the infection is bacterial, the doctor prescribes antibiotic treatment, which should not be skipped or interrupted in the middle of treatment.

Most antibiotics should be taken for 7 to 14 days, but shorter courses are sometimes prescribed. Experts remind you to take antibiotics only if they are prescribed by a doctor.

We also note that antibiotics act instantly, but health improves only after a couple of days of treatment – how quickly antibiotics work depends on the drug and the type of infection.

The most common side effects include skin rash, allergic reaction, bloating, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.

Since antibiotics are unique drugs, the more often they are used, the less effective they become. A 2018 Public Health England survey found that up to a fifth of antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessarily written.

Fortunately, in recent years general practitioners have been promoting the mindful use of antibiotics to avoid the emergence of superbugs.

How superbugs appeared

Uncontrolled use of antibiotics for many years can lead to the emergence of resistant bacteria that are difficult to treat and can infect people and animals.

Diseases such as tuberculosis, typhoid fever and pneumonia are difficult to treat due to the emergence of superbugs that are resistant to most known antibiotics.

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Superbugs are taking over the world

It is believed that the appearance of superbugs led to the treatment of viral diseases with antibiotics, which are ineffective in 95% of cases.

Runny nose, colds, sore throats and flu do not need to be treated with antibiotics. Their use is justified only in case of complications and is strictly under the supervision of a doctor.

In the US, at least 23,000 people die each year from antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and at least 250,000 need hospital care.

The most common infection is Clostridium difficile, a bacterium in the large intestine that is difficult to treat.

Other superbugs include Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a common infection of the lungs, intestines and urinary tract that can travel through the body, according to a new study.

Can bacteria travel throughout the body

According to ScienceAlert with reference to Nature Communications, an exceptional case recently occurred in one of the hospitals in Spain – bacteria from the intestines migrated to the lungs and, possibly, back.

Researchers have encountered this before, but it is rarely possible to accurately track the route of a bacterium through the human body.

The patient was admitted to the intensive care unit and was on a ventilator for 39 days. All the while, doctors used antibiotics to fight infection in the lower respiratory tract (after Pseudomonas aeruginosa was found in the lungs).

On the 12th day of therapy, the patient was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection – she was treated with another antibiotic (meropenem), but after the end of therapy, the bacterium was found in the intestine.

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Superbug Pseudomonas aeruginosa can migrate throughout the body, affecting different organs

Further treatment with meropenem was unsuccessful and this particular population of bacteria became resistant to meropenem and continued to migrate throughout the body.

Ultimately, resistant bacteria in the gut migrated back to the lungs, which could lead to the development of deadly pneumonia.

Fortunately, the patient’s immune system recovered and he left the hospital after a long stay in the hospital. But things could have been much worse.

Control of superbugs

By studying the genetic diversity of bacteria found in a patient during his hospital stay, the researchers found evidence that the infection probably started in the intestines about three weeks before admission.

By the 24th day of hospital stay, the infection began to develop and “moved” to the patient’s lungs.

Ultimately, the antibiotic-resistant bacterial population made its way into the intestines and lungs, which the authors of the new study say is “convincing evidence of bacterial migration from the intestines to the lungs and possibly back,” according to the text of a scientific.

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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are difficult to treat

As previous studies have shown, colonization of the gut by superbugs often precedes lung infections, and the same strains can be found in both places.

Experts suggest that the gut acts as a reservoir for bacterial infections such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Previous research has also shown that when populations of bacteria migrate throughout the body, their movement actually speeds up the adaptation to antibiotics.

Of course, bacteria are not the only microbes that pose a threat to us. Mushrooms and viruses are also not harmless, but antifungal and antiviral drugs are used to treat them, respectively.

As for the emergence of superbugs, it is possible to prevent their further spread by following all the recommendations of the attending physician.

Otherwise, mortality from a variety of bacterial diseases will greatly increase. Be healthy!


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