Antibiotic Information: Antibiotic resistance occurs when an antibiotic has lost its ability to effectively control or kill bacterial growth; in other words, the bacteria are "resistant" and continue to multiply in the presence of therapeutic levels of an antibiotic. Antibiotic resistance is a natural phenomenon. When an antibiotic is used, bacteria that can resist that antibiotic have a greater chance of survival than those that are "susceptible." Susceptible bacteria are killed or inhibited by an antibiotic, resulting in a selective pressure for the survival of resistant strains of bacteria. An antibiotic is a selective poison. It has been chosen so that it will kill the desired bacteria, but not the cells in your body. Each different type of antibiotic affects different bacteria in different ways. For example, an antibiotic might inhibit a bacterium's ability to turn glucose into energy, or its ability to construct its cell wall. When this happens, the bacterium dies instead of reproducing. At the same time, the antibiotic acts only on the bacterium's cell-wall-building mechanism, not on a normal cell's.
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