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Rise of the Killer Mutants Essay Sample

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In the article, the author states that over the last 60 years, antibiotic resistant genes have increased in number. These genes have transformed form rare to commonplace in the microbes that normally infect our bodies. In the United States alone, around 90,000 potentially deadly infections have been correlated with the new resistant strains of DNA (Sachs, 2008). In fact, the author states that the number of potentially deadly infections associated with the newly antibiotics resistant strains is higher than the total number of homicides and accidents that occur every year. This is very alarming because it implies that very soon; the world might be recording high number of deaths caused by antibiotics resistant genes than AIDs or other deadly diseases. In fact, this implies that the number of deaths is likely to increase not only from deadly infections caused by the antibiotic resistant genes, but also from all other conditions, which are known to be caused by bacteria. This is because the available antibacterial drugs will no longer be able to fight these antibiotic resistant genes.

In the article, the author states that when Wright and his students started combing through the DNA of soil microbes, they were surprised to find that some microbes carry antidotes genes as their weaponry. However, they were surprised to see that antidote genes present in some microbes were nearly identical to the resistance genes in vancomycin-resistant anterococcus (VRE) (Sachs, 2008). This is because VRE has been in use in many American and European hospitals since it was discovered fifteen years ago. Professor Wright regrets if only the researchers knew what kind of resistance mechanisms would follow the drug, the doctors would have been prepared to handle the resistance they would have encountered after prescribing vancomycin. This provokes a great curiosity concerning how many more antibiotics, which have been discovered after vancomycin, have the same resistance features just like vancomycin. It is therefore clear that these killer antibiotic resistance genes will continue to rise, unless researchers such as Wright manage to find a solution to this phenomenon.

Surprisingly, according to the article, in 2005, Wright’s team tested around 500 streptomyces strain and species, and discovered all of them had not just one form of antibiotic resistance, but multiple forms of resistances. In fact, these strains and species were found to be resistant even to new synthetic drugs such as Ketek and Zyvox (Sachs, 2008). This is surprising because it appears as if the medical researchers are far from solving this phenomenon. If the deadly antibiotic resistant genes have already developed resistance against synthetic drugs, what about the herbal drugs, which are gradually becoming popular in the medical field?

What caught my attention is the fact that researchers such as Wright know what could be the possible prime ground for transfer of these antibiotics resistant genes in the environment, yet they are not taking the necessary measures to reduce the transfer rate. In the article, it is indicated that commercial livestock operations practices is one of the prime transfer grounds for these genes. In the recent decades, commercial livestock operations have become widely practiced in many regions of the world. In fact, as the medical researchers try to find a solution to reduce the growing numbers of antibiotic resistant genes, commercial livestock entrepreneurs are making more efforts to increase their yields in the lucrative meat market, by feeding more and more antibiotics to their livestock, in order to increase their growth rate. Moreover, the mention of use of antibacterial soaps/detergents as another prime ground of transfer of antibiotic resistant genes also caught my attention.

Summary

In the article, the author states that over the last 60 years, antibiotic resistant genes have increased in number. The author states that the number of annual infections associated with the deadly antibiotic resistant genes in the United States is more than the number of homicides and accidents reported in the United States every year. This is a major cause of alarm. Soon, the world will be recording more deaths due to conditions related to such infections, and from other medical conditions, which are known to be caused by bacteria. This is simply because; the antibiotic resistant genes will have developed resistance to all available drugs, hence making them ineffective to treat any bacterial-related conditions.

In 2005, Wright and his team discovered presence of antidote genes in vancomycin, a recently discovered antibiotic. Vancomycin has been in used in many hospitals an America and Europe over the last fifteen years. Wright wishes if only the researchers had discovered these before the antibiotic became widely used in the hospitals, they would have assisted the doctors to prepare for the resistance mechanism that followed. This provokes a great curiosity concerning how many more antibiotics, which have been discovered after vancomycin, have the same resistance features just like vancomycin.

The medical researchers appear to be far from solving this phenomenon. In 2005, Wright and his team also discovered many streptomyces strain and species have multiple resistances to various antibiotic drugs including some new synthetic drugs. This makes one to think of possible resistance of these streptomyces strain and species to the currently famous herbal drugs. What caught my attention is that commercial livestock practices as well as use of antibacterial detergents are some of the transfer grounds for these killer antibiotic resistant genes.

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