The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is not popular for its pessimism, but lately it has been constantly alerting about the consequences of the excessive use of antibiotics.
Tom Frieden, Director of the Centre, warns about the “nightmare bacteria” which developed a defensive mechanism against modern antibiotics. This leads to fatal infections.
While scientists work on how to preserve the effectiveness of the antibiotics and slow potential bacteria that develop a defense against medicines, the excessive use of antibiotics causes other serious health problems all around the world.
1. Antibiotics increase the number of fatal diarrhea cases in children
Most cases of cold come due to a virus infection, so the use of antibiotics will not suppress the infection, but cause a diverse effect. Studies have shown that half of the antibiotics prescribed to children as a therapy for the airways in cases of cold are really not necessary.
The latest research showed that children who take antibiotics prescribed for their respiratory infections over time become sensitive to aggressive bacteria resistant to antibiotics, known as Clostridium difficile.
The study showed that 71% of the children who suffer from Clostridium difficile infection have received antibiotics to treat cold or airway infection, 12 weeks before they get the infection.
By giving antibiotics to your child when there is no need for such a thing, you expose it unnecessarily to health problems such as infections and reduce the resistance of the immune system.
Clostridium difficile found in the intestines can cause severe diarrhea and it is responsible for 250 000 hospitalizations and 14 000 deaths every year, including both children and adults.
2. Antibiotics disrupts the delicate intestine flora
Intestines contain about hundred trillions different bacteria types. Even though some of them can be deadly, there is a certain balance that is usually disrupted by the use of antibiotics.
Even though aggressive antibiotics can be useful in the treatment of some infections, they can also destroy some of the good bacteria and increase the number of bacteria resistant to antibiotics. This often leads to diarrhea.
A lot of people, especially children, are sensitive to the side-effects that appear due to the unnecessary use of antibiotics and face permanent changes in the intestine flora.
3. Antibiotics turn good bacteria into bad
Bacteria evolved and developed a defensive mechanism against antibiotics through the process of horisontal gene transfer.
A research has shown that bacteria which pass through the colon can transfer their antibiotic resistance genes to other bacteria.
A study conducted in Birkbeck, the University of London, shows how bacteria secrete genes in their membranes, so maybe scientists could be able to discover how to stop the transfer of such antibiotic resistant genes.
4. Increased number of incurable gonorrhea cases
The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention constantly follows the cases of gonorrhea resistant to antibiotics. This incurable gonorrhea virus not only causes pain, but it is also associated to pelvic, inflammatory disease, infertility, neonatal conjunctivitis and other.
The specific virus, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, developed resistance to antibiotics that are most often used in the treatment of this infection.
In 2012 there were over 330 000 cases of gonorrhea recorded in the USA, and most of them were patients aged between 15 and 24.
5. Increased hospital costs
As the resistance to antibiotics grows, producers have to withdraw antibiotics that are already found on the market, and create new types as a solution to this problem. This means that the treatment of patients diagnosed with these infections would last longer and the therapies will be more expensive.