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Thank you for visiting www. Note: If you need help accessing information in different file formats, see Instructions for Downloading Viewers and Players. For other uses, see Super Bug. Antibiotic resistance tests: Bacteria are streaked on dishes with white disks, each impregnated with a different antibiotic.
Clear rings, such as those on the left, show that bacteria have not grown—indicating that these bacteria are not resistant. The bacteria on the right are fully susceptible to only three of the seven antibiotics tested. The term includes the more specific “antibiotic resistance”, which applies only to bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics.
Resistant microbes are more difficult to treat, requiring alternative medications or higher doses, both of which may be more expensive or more toxic. Resistance arises through one of three mechanisms: natural resistance in certain types of bacteria, genetic mutation, or by one species acquiring resistance from another. All classes of microbes can develop resistance: fungi develop antifungal resistance, viruses develop antiviral resistance, protozoa develop antiprotozoal resistance, and bacteria develop antibiotic resistance. Preventive measures include only using antibiotics when needed, thereby stopping misuse of antibiotics or antimicrobials.
Narrow-spectrum antibiotics are preferred over broad-spectrum antibiotics when possible, as effectively and accurately targeting specific organisms is less likely to cause resistance. For people who take these medications at home, education about proper use is essential.