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What are antibiotics and why do they stop working?

Bacteria can evolve rapidly to develop antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic capsules and tablets
© University of East Anglia

Bacteria can evolve rapidly to develop antibiotic resistance.

In this video The Evolution of Bacteria on a “Mega-Plate” Petri Dish you can see how rapidly E.coli bacteria can develop resistance to an antibiotic.

One or two bacteria develop a mutation that enables them to survive in the presence of an antibiotic. These bacteria survive and multiply and one or two of these bacteria develop another mutation that allows them to survive in even as the concentration on antibiotics increase. These bacteria have become antibiotic resistant.

© University of East Anglia
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Using Infection Control to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance

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