As many people already know antibiotic resistance is a common problem in the medical field nowadays. As our usage of antibiotics increase we help to speed up the process of evolution which normally would have taken thousands of years . But how do bacteria gain resistance to antibiotics? When we use antibiotics to kill pathogenic strains of bacteria we basically kill off all the ones which doesn’t already have some kind of resistance to antibiotics. What this does is that it allows only the strong and resistant bacteria to continue proliferating and giving root to a new generation of resistant bacteria.
Normally as the bacteria evolves with evolution to gain resistance to antibiotics, the antibiotic producing organisms such as certain fungi would also evolve and give rise to new strains of antibiotics which would work on the new generation of bacteria. But due to our over consumption of antibiotics, we have speed up the process of gaining resistance against antibiotics while the evolution of fungi, ex. the penicillium mould still evolves at the natural speed which makes it hard for these antimicrobial producing organisms to keep up with the bacteria.
There are many studies and research that focuses on using probiotics to outcompete the pathogenic bacteria instead of using antibiotic drugs to prevent resistance, or in some cases because the bacteria doesn’t react to antibiotics anymore and thus we need to find other substances that will fight of the pathogens. For example there was a study published at BMCinfectious diseases which was about the use of the probiotic S.salivarius and S.oralis to treat pathogens in the upper respiratory tract by inhibition of the formation of the biofilm produced by the pathogens.
As it is known pathogens that form biofilms are much harder to kill with antibiotics and can require up to 10 times the normal dose to kill. Soluble substances produced by the two streptococci were used to inhibit the growth of the biofilm as well as the destruction of already formed biofilms. Not only can we use probiotics to fight of pathogens but also natural substances such as different plant extracts from example essential oils from Origanum compactum, it’s ability to increase membrane permeability in bacteria have been studied in a research conducted by the Xi’an Jiaotong University.
To contribute to the prevention of antibiotic resistance you should make sure to always take your prescribed antibiotics without missing any and always make sure you don’t stop mid-way in your treatment just because you are feeling better. Antibiotic resistance is a serious concern and everyone should try to contribute to a change.
/ Milla Tipayavaravan