Accidental Discovery of Antibiotics
We are only a decade away from celebrating the 100th year of the discovery of penicillin-the world’s first antibiotic. It calls for celebration, a sense of satisfaction and the pleasures of a worthy discovery but we have ruined it all with the misuse of antibiotics that have now led to widespread antibiotic resistance.
Mankind came across a great discovery due to the carelessness of a bacteriology professor, Stephen Fleming. After a great 2-week break when Fleming returned to his lab on Sept 3rd 1929 he was shocked to find something unusual. Among his petri dishes containing Staphylococcus (bacteria that causes sore throat and boils) one dish contained a small blob of mold that secreted some kind of juice preventing bacteria growth. Later, this mold was identified as Penicillium notatum. Fleming published his findings and mentioned only about the possible use of penicillin as medicine. It was not until 1939 that penicillin established its power in medicinal use baptized as a life-saving drug owing to the work of two researchers.
With penicillin’s discovery, deadly infections such as pneumococcal pneumonia, bacterial meningitis and bacterial endocarditis could be treated which saved the lives of millions of people affected by it.
Negating the Advantages of Antibiotics
Although discovered in 1939, the term ‘antibiotics’ was first used as a noun by another researcher Selman Waksman in the year 1941 to describe any microbe that negates the growth of another microbe. Penicillin developed from fungus and other antibiotics produced by soil bacteria rewrote medicine’s history and ushered mankind into the era of antibiotics. But we have yet again failed in safeguarding this treasure as pathogen-induced antibiotic resistance has made the authentic antibiotics ineffective. If we don’t take cautionary steps immediately to wipe away antibiotic resistance as early as possible, we are near to losing yet another amazing discovery that is invaluable to health.
Resisting the Change of Antibiotic Resistance
Antibiotics are medicines used to prevent and treat certain types of bacterial infection. They either kill the bacteria or prevent them from reproducing and spreading elsewhere in the body. But mind you, these antibiotics are not the remedy for every type of infection, mild infections don’t need antibiotics for getting cured and viral infections such as cold, flu, coughs and sore throats don’t get cured by taking antibiotics. Despite this knowledge when you still consume them due to adamance it puts you at a further risk of a severe illness and the threats of antibiotic resistance.
Overuse of antibiotics in humans as well as animals means that certain infections become untreatable in the long run. That’s because overuse of antibiotics causes antibiotic resistance in which the bacteria don’t respond to antibiotics any longer. This can affect any person of any age in any country. It also lies in each of our hands to prevent antibiotic resistance. Read more about antibiotic resistance from the visit website www.firsteatright.com.
World Antibiotics Awareness Week
Every year in November we celebrate the World Antibiotics Awareness Week to increase the global awareness of antibiotic resistance (AMR) and also to ensure that the citizens worldwide, health workers and policy makers take protective steps against the spread of antibiotics resistance. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) exists as a major global threat to both humans and animals. It is not only bacteria but other microorganisms such as virus, fungi and parasites that become resistant to antimicrobial substances like antibiotics. While there exists a unique theme every year promoting the World Antibiotics Awareness Week, this year’s a little different. The WHO has come up with five themes each of which have different focus messages.
To minimize the impact of antibiotic resistance:
Antibiotics are a great treasure to mankind and when they must be used, please use them with utmost care.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.