Drug Resistance | Peer Reviewed Journals
Drug Designing: Open Access

Drug Designing: Open Access
Open Access

ISSN: 2169-0138

Drug Resistance

Drug resistance is the reduction in effectiveness of a medication such as an antimicrobial or an antineoplastic in treating a disease or condition.[1] The term is used in the context of resistance that pathogens or cancers have "acquired", that is, resistance has evolved. Antimicrobial resistance and antineoplastic resistance challenge clinical care and drive research. When an organism is resistant to more than one drug, it is said to be multidrug-resistant.

The development of antibiotic resistance in particular stems from the drugs targeting only specific bacterial molecules (almost always proteins). Because the drug is so specific, any mutation in these molecules will interfere with or negate its destructive effect, resulting in antibiotic resistance. Furthermore, there is mounting concern over the abuse of antibiotics in the farming of livestock, which in the European Union alone accounts for three times the volume dispensed to humans – leading to development of super-resistant bacteria.

Bacteria are capable of not only altering the enzyme targeted by antibiotics, but also by the use of enzymes to modify the antibiotic itself and thus neutralize it. Examples of target-altering pathogens are Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant enterococci and macrolide-resistant Streptococcus, while examples of antibiotic-modifying microbes are Pseudomonas aeruginosa and aminoglycoside-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii.

In short, the lack of concerted effort by governments and the pharmaceutical industry, together with the innate capacity of microbes to develop resistance at a rate that outpaces development of new drugs, suggests that existing strategies for developing viable, long-term anti-microbial therapies are ultimately doomed to failure. Without alternative strategies, the acquisition of drug resistance by pathogenic microorganisms looms as possibly one of the most significant public health threats facing humanity in the 21st century

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