A2: Microbes in the News: We’re Not Using One of Our Best Weapons against Drug-Resistant Microbes

Title: We’re Not Using One of Our Best Weapons against Drug-Resistant Microbes,  

Source: Scientific American

Date: 2/8/2019

Link: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/were-not-using-one-of-our-best-weapons-against-drug-resistant-microbes/

Summary: There have been many deaths with drug-resistant bacteria from Antimicrobial resistance or AMR for short. New vaccines can benefit AMR since they help with mortality, morbidity and epidemics.

Connections: We have learned about antibiotic resistance   for bacteria and the role it has played in history with various diseases.   Vaccinating against diseases appears to be a much better solution than prescribing antibiotics which can kill off good forms of bacteria essential for a healthy microbiome. The post also connects with what we have learned about the wide range of microbial life and its affects when using antibiotics to treat bacterial diseases such as salmonella, gonorrhoea and shigella.

Critical Analysis: I found this blog post very interesting because it dives into some of the long term affects of using antibiotics too much in our society. It talks largely about the benefits of preemptive vaccination as a method to reduce AMR and control diseases. It is lacking in information about the effects of AMR and antibiotics sadly; and mostly talks about vaccines as a better alternative.

Question: Does AMR affect various age groups differently? What are the affects of AMR in animals?


1 Comment for “A2: Microbes in the News: We’re Not Using One of Our Best Weapons against Drug-Resistant Microbes”



This is a very interesting article and it brings up a lot of good points. I am not sure how scientifically accurate it is because it does seem like more of an opinion, but it does mention some facts that, if correct, make a very good argument for why we should be using vaccines for more reasons. I agree that is does lack some information about the effects of AMR, but they do mention some specific examples of the problems that AMR are causing. This is a very good argument and people who don’t believe in vaccinating their kids should read it! In regards to your question, I think it is possible that older people might tend to have more AMR than younger people since they are likely to have taken more antibiotics over their lifetime than a young child. However, we do obtain a lot of our microbes from our environment, so it is also possible that all age groups are exposed to the same AMR bacteria and have about the same amount residing within them. I think the same would explain AMR in animals, as well. They pick up so many microbes from roaming around outside that a puppy might have about the same amount of AMR as an adult dog. AMR might be more harmful for young children and really old people since their immune systems are not as strong as a young/ middle-aged adult, and not being able to treat an infection quickly, or at all, could be more detrimental to them.

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