4.5 Antibiotic Resistance Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in 4.5 Antibiotic Resistance Deck (16):

How does antibiotic resistance develop?

A chance mutation can occur in the plasmids, changing just one gene.

The bacterium may be able to produce an enzyme that breaks down a particular antibiotic (the bacterium would be resistant and would not be killed by that antibiotic)

It would survive and reproduce - its offspring would also contain the allele for antibiotic resistance

Bacteria can also pass on copies of a plasmid to other bacteria - this means that antibiotic resistance can spread very quickly

Bacteria may contain several different alleles, each giving resistance to a different antibiotic. Bacteria with several different antibiotic resistance alleles are said to be MULTI-DRUG RESISTANT - can cause infections that are very difficult to treat


MRSA stands for...

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus



30% of people have this bacterium growing on their skin in their noses without developing an infection.


Infections like boils and abscesses occur when...

Staphylococcus aureus enters the body through a break in the skin - if they get into the bloodstream they can cause more serious infections


Most staphylococcus aureus infections can be treated with the antibiotic...



Some strains of bacteria have developed resistance to methicillin known as ...

MRSA, often resistant to several other kinds of antibiotic too


MRSA can be a serious problem because it is...

Difficult to treat


The only way to treat MRSA may be...

To use very high doses of antibiotic, or to use an alternative antibiotic which may have unpleasant side-effects


Antibiotic resistance is more likely to develop when...

Antibiotics are widely used


Doctors should avoid prescribing antibiotics for minor infections that present no danger because...

If bacteria are not exposed to antibiotics, resistance is unlikely to develop


Doctors should not prescribe antibiotics for infections caused by viruses because

Antibiotics don't destroy viruses, but any bacteria present will be exposed to antibiotics and may develop resistance


Always finish the whole course of antibiotics, even if you feel better because...

There may be a few bacteria left in the body. These will be the bacteria that are the most resistant to the antibiotic. If you don't continue to finish the course if antibiotics, these bacteria will survive and multiply, and could spread to other people


Medical staff in hospitals have to take great care to avoid spreading MRSA between patients, most important approach is...

CONTACT ISOLATION - healthcare workers must wash their hands very carefully both before and after touching every patient.

If a patient has MRSA present in their nose, they may need to put the patient in a separate room-they cannot spread the bacteria to other patients by droplet infection.


MRSA may be present in dust and on surfaces so the surfaces need to be...

Cleaned very thoroughly when a patient leaves the hospital


Medical staff should...

Wear clean, disposable gloves and a clean, disposable plastic apron if they are likely to become exposed to body fluids.


Visitors to the hospital may also introduce MRSA, therefore they should...

Use alcohol-based hand runs before visiting hospital patients