Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Antibiotics: How much is too much?

New research has, for the first time, provided guidance on the amount of antibiotics that can safely be prescribed without generating resistant superbugs.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

How to fight 'scary' superbugs? Cooperation and a special soap

Hospitals and nursing homes in California and Illinois are testing a surprisingly simple strategy against the dangerous, antibiotic-resistant superbugs that kill thousands of people each year: washing patients with a special ...

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Antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance is the ability of a microorganism to withstand the effects of antibiotics. It is a specific type of drug resistance. Antibiotic resistance evolves via natural selection acting upon random mutation, but it can also be engineered by applying an evolutionary stress on a population. Once such a gene is generated, bacteria can then transfer the genetic information in a horizontal fashion (between individuals) by plasmid exchange. If a bacterium carries several resistance genes, it is called multiresistant or, informally, a superbug. The term antimicrobial resistance is sometimes used to explicitly encompass organisms other than bacteria.

Antibiotic resistance can also be introduced artificially into a microorganism through transformation protocols. This can aid in implanting artificial genes into the microorganism. If the resistance gene is linked with the gene to be implanted, the antibiotic can be used to kill off organisms that lack the new gene.

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