As an infection biologist, the following topic is particularly close to my heart: the ever-increasing spread of multi-resistant germs, such as the “famous” MRSA bacteria. These are methicillin or multi-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains that are particularly common in hospitals. Figures for Germany assume approximately 132,000 1 MRSA infections per year. The number of deaths is estimated at approximately 40,000 2 . There is currently an “outbreak” in the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein with 11 deaths so far. It remains to be clarified whether these, mostly elderly, patients actually died of an Acinetobacter baumanii infection resistant to 4 antibiotic groups . EThere are many types of bacteria that are becoming increasingly resistant to all possible classes of antibiotics. To name a few:
the Staphylococcus aureus and Acinetobacter baumanii , Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecalis 3 mentioned at the beginning .
Ascending trend. The situation becomes dramatic due to the increasingly difficult development of new classes of antibiotics.
1 . What are antibiotic resistance?
As the name implies, bacteria can become resistant to all kinds of antibiotics. These resistances are based on random mutations in certain genes of the bacteria, which, among other things, mean that, for example, ß-lactam antibiotics, such as the famous penicillin, can no longer bind to their target protein and therefore cannot develop their effect. Other types of resistance lead to the removal of antibiotics, as in the case of tetracyclines, with the help of so-called Efflux pumps. These are membrane-bound proteins that can transport molecules out of the cell. When it comes to the diversity of resistance mechanisms, the bacteria are really absolute masters.
2. Why are bacteria resistant?
The first main reason is the excessive use of antibiotics in animal breeding as so-called performance promoters, which lead to a better absorption of the nutrients. For example, by controlling the ratio of propion, acetic and lactic acid-forming bacteria in the rumen of cattle and thus the ratio of these acids to each other. This in turn leads to better feed utilization and thus to an increase in muscle mass. Antibiotics are also so widespread in poultry farming that they could be detected in almost every third sample of frozen poultry 4 .
The second main reason is over-prescribing and improper use of antibiotics. If you are prescribed antibiotics, you MUST take them until the end.
Wird dies nicht eingehalten, können einige Millionen Bakterienzellen überleben und durch den ausgeübten Selektionsdruck Resistenzen entwickelt haben. Diese Resistenzen werden auf sogenannten Plasmiden, extrachromosomalen DNA-Abschnitten, kodiert und bei der Konjugation, also dem bakteriellen Sex, an eine plasmidlose Zelle weitergegeben, womit diese ebenfalls resistent wird. Und schon haben wir den Salat.
3. Was kann man dagegen tun?
Bratet bitte euer Fleisch grundsätzlich sehr gut durch und tragt auch beim Hantieren mit dem Fleisch am besten Küchenhandschuhe.
Und bitte bitte bitte nehmt so selten, wie es nur geht, Antibiotika und wenn, dann bitte IMMER bis die Packung leer ist.
Fortunately, something is happening on a political level, as always, very slowly. See here: http://www.bmel.de/DE/Tier/Tiergesundheit/Tierarzneimittel/_texte/Antibiotika-Dossier.html;jsessionid=C599BC8A51051B466DC41C456E2A4C85.2_cid376?nn=539690¬First=true61834Id=26
2 German Society for Hospital Hygiene