General Background: Multiple-drug resistance

Sometimes bacteria find a way to fight the antibiotic you are taking and your infection won't go away. When antibiotic resistance develops, your doctor must prescribe a different antibiotic in order to fight the infection. Multiple-drug resistance occurs when bacteria are resistant to more than one antibiotic. Because of years of antibiotic overuse, multidrug resistance is now the rule rather than the exception among resistant bacteria. This situation has largely occurred through the sequential use of multiple different antibiotics. The first antibiotic began by selecting a single resistance gene. Eventually, however, bacteria resistant to the first antibiotic picked up resistance to others as they were introduced into the environment. It's like a snowball rolling downhill, becoming bigger and stronger and not losing what it had acquired before.






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