Antibiotic resistance – RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin


The term antibiotic resistance refers to the ability of bacteria and other micro-organisms to withstand the effects of an antibiotic to which it was previously sensitive. Consequently, these resistant organisms are not inhibited by antibiotics at the serum/tissue concentrations achievable after normal dosing of the drug. In contrast to other drugs, antibiotics are unique in that the use of these agents in one patient can influence future efficacy – not only in the same patient but also for other patients and potentially a whole population.

The widespread use of antibiotics has exerted selective resistance pressure, and this, coupled with the transfer of microorganisms between people, has led to (often rapid) emergence of antibiotic resistance. Only a low level of native genetic antibiotic resistance exists in micro-organisms, but the abundance and variation in resistance genes in bacteria became established after extensive clinical use of man-made antibiotics in various settings.

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Inside the World’s Most Biosecure Laboratory – the CSIRO’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory

There is increasing concern about the lack of antibiotics in the research pipeline with more “superbugs” – resistant to many antibiotics – being discovered and many bacteria and viruses jumping from their original hosts to man.

Many countries – Australia included – are looking more closely at how antibiotics are used and also ensuring good hand hygiene – washing hands – between examining patients (doctors are the worst). When implemented in Australia this led to a decrease in the incidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteraemia.

Just as important is the research carried on by non profit groups and government research. Australia is one of the world leaders with the worlds most advanced biosecure laboratory. The Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong can research these new threats such as Hendra virus hopefully leading to new antibiotics (for bacteria) and new vaccines.

You Gotta Take The Antibiotics

I think this initially came from Congress, an Aboriginal Health Service in Alice Springs. However no one there claims it. Please contact me if you know who made it.

Simple drug education involving local kids covered in sheets of material. I’d like to try a version of this (and perhaps other health information) involving local people and performed in ‘language’. I think it would work best with the kids in front of the camera at the start or the end of the video so community members watching the video recognise the participants. And the participants can show their family and explain it to them.

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