All About Viruses and Bacteria

Antibiotics and How They Work

Different Antibiotics
   Antibiotics are type of medicine used to fight bacterial infections. Antibiotics are strong tools used in medicine today, but how do they really work? Well let’s take a look at how it works.
   Antibiotics are like selective poison. It is made to kill the bad bacteria in your body, but not your body’s cells. The antibiotic stops one of the vital functions of a bacteria cell. If the bacteria cell can't function properly, so it dies. Antibiotics take advantage of the fact that bacteria and human cells are very different. Each contain different enzymes, or the proteins in its DNA that tell the cell what, where, and how to do things. An antibiotic disables an important enzyme in the bacteria, but does not disable the very defend enzyme in the cells in your body. This causes the bacteria cells to die but not your cells. Penicillin was one of the first antibiotics. These antibiotics disabled the enzyme that allowed a bacteria cell to build a cell wall. If it can't build a cell wall it can not reproduce and the bacteria cell dies. Part of developing an antibiotic is looking for these differences in enzymes and then developing a medicine to exploit the bacteria’s weakness. One of the main problems with antibiotics is that it can't stop bacteria that have mutated. Because the bacteria can reproduce so fast the chance of a mutation is high. The mutation can be through sexual reproduction or a defect in asexual reproduction, but any mutation can alter antibiotics useless. Even if there is only one cell that has mutated, the one cell can survive and reproduce very quickly, making it as if the antibiotic was never even used. Many bacterial diseases today have mutated so they are immune or almost immune to antibiotics. These kind of infections are very dangerous and can require months of hospitalization and treatment. Even so, there are many antibiotics that have been developed and that are used today. Antibiotics sadly don't work on viruses. Viruses are not living things; they are only filled with DNA or RNA and contain no other living parts. It uses other cells living parts to reproduce. It doesn't have the functions of a living thing, and those functions are what antibiotics stop. If there is nothing to stop, then there is nothing antibiotics can do. Below is a news report about a antibacterial resistant infection. Ever increasing use of antibiotics have caused more and more simple illnesses to become seriuos and hard to treat infection.