What is Antibiotic Resistance?
Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria no longer respond to the drugs designed to target them. These drugs, called antibiotics, are typically prescribed to battle infections such as strep throat. When resistance develops, it doesn’t mean something is wrong with how the human body responds to infection or medication. Rather, it’s the bacteria themselves that undergo changes that lead to developing resistance mechanisms—or acquiring them from others—to ensure their survival.
The more frequently bacteria are exposed to antibiotics, the more opportunities they have to develop or acquire resistance to them.
Over time, this process can make antibiotics less effective in fighting infections. It can even lead to the emergence of dangerous superbugs that are resistant to many different types of antibiotics and make infections hard to treat, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).