Farzad Mazloomi MD, a family medicine physician with TriHealth Group Health, discusses antibiotic-resistant (mutant) bacteria and what you can do to help minimize this increasing problem.
Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria: What Causes It?
“Lately, there’s been a lot of news about resistant, or mutant, bacteria,” Dr. Mazloomi explains. “The thing to remember is that there is actually a direct correlation between antibiotic use and these resistant bacteria.” The more common bacteria include:
- Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
- Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE)
Learn more about these bacteria in the TriHealth.com Health Library:
Ways to Prevent the Spread of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
The more antibiotics we use, the more likely we are to spread the resistant viruses. “When we use antibiotics, the sensitive bacteria are killed off, but these resistant bacteria are left behind and they’re able to reproduce and grow, and spread amongst the population,” Dr. Mazloomi points out.
In order to prevent the spread of bacteria resistance, he says:
- Ask your doctor whether antibiotics are appropriate
- Take antibiotics as prescribed, take them for the full course and don’t skip doses
- Don’t save antibiotics that you haven’t used
- Don’t take antibiotics prescribed to others
- Treat your symptoms; don't expect an antibiotic