Flood-BiologyWeek 6 DB
Generally,antibiotics do not harm human beings. Mobley (2006) argues that in anattempt to be effective in treating human infections, antibioticsselectively target bacteria (bacterial cells) for destruction and notthe cells of its human host (eukaryotic cells) thus preservinghumans from any danger.
Forinstance, tetracycline, just like other antibiotics, acts onprocesses that are specific to bacterial (synthesis of cell walls orfolic acid and unique bacterium targets) often within processescommon to both bacterium and human cells (which include protein orDNA replication). Also, tetracycline inhibits the growth of bacteriaby halting protein synthesis (Mobley 2006). Mobley (2006) furtherexplains that both human and bacteria carry out protein synthesis onstructures referred to as ribosomes. Tetracycline, can however, crossthe membranes of bacteria and in result become concentrated in thecytoplasm. Consequently, tetracycline binds to a single location onthe ribosome blocking a key RNA interaction resulting in thelengthening protein chain shutting off. However, in human cells,tetracycline insufficiently accumulates resulting in lowconcentration that cannot stop protein synthesis (Mobley, 2006).
Insome incidences, people take antibiotics to treat infections that maynot be treated by such antibiotics. Harley, Klein & Prescott(1993) argues that if someone takes an antibiotic when he has a viralinfection, the antibiotic will still attack the bacteria in his body.The bacteria may either beneficial or just harmless. Therefore, suchmisdirected treatment will promote antibiotic resistantcharacteristics in harmless bacteria that can be shared with otherbacteria. For example, when my little son took tetracycline in anattempt to cure a persistent cough, nothing happened. The cough justpersisted.
Properhygiene helps prevent the spread of infection at home (Harley, Klein& Prescott 1993). For instance, washing hands with soap iseffective than using water alone because soap removes dirt andmicrobes. However, the use of soaps among other sanitizers bears nosignificant influence on antibiotic resistance. Studies haveindicated that consumers do not bear any benefits using soapscontaining antibacterial ingredients compared with using plain soapsHarley, Klein & Prescott (1993). These are definitely productthat we use both at home and work, and therefore, we should keepusing them to maintain our hygiene.
Harley,J.P., D.A. Klein,& L.M. Prescott. (1993). Microbiology.Wm.C.Brown Publishers, Dubuque, Iowa.
Mobley,H. (2006). How do antibiotics kill bacteria cells but not humancells? Scientific
America.Retrieved on March 10, 2015, from www.scientificamerican.com.