Antibiotic resistance: How do antibiotics kill bacteria?

Posted on December 31, 2006  Comments (3)

Antibiotic resistance: How do antibiotics kill bacteria?

Many, if not most, antibiotics act by inhibiting the events necessary for bacterial growth. Some inhibit DNA replication, some, transcription, some antibiotics prevent bacteria from making proteins, some prevent the synthesis of cell walls, and so on. In general, antibiotics keep bacteria from building the parts that are needed for growth.

It seems funny to think that not growing can be a mechanism for survival. But if you’re a bacteria, and you can hang around long enough in an inactive, non-growing state, eventually your human host will stop taking antibiotics, they will disappear from your environment and you can go back to growing.

Related: How do antibiotics kill bacterial cells but not human cells?Entirely New Antibiotic DevelopedOveruse of Antibiotics

3 Responses to “Antibiotic resistance: How do antibiotics kill bacteria?”

  1. CuriousCat: Blocking Bacteria From Passing Genes to Other Bacteria
    September 18th, 2007 @ 10:33 pm

    Redinbo is part of a team that recently discovered that two osteoporosis drugs block a key site on E. coli bacteria, preventing it from passing antibiotic resistance genes to other E. coli…

  2. CuriousCat: Antibiotics Too Often Prescribed for Sinus Woes
    January 20th, 2008 @ 5:15 pm

    why do physicians think it is ok to practice bad medicine because people will whine if they try to practice sensible medicine?

  3. annakat
    August 24th, 2008 @ 1:05 am

    I have never thought of how bacteria was killed by antibiotics. When my children were young, I’d take them to the doctor every time they ran a fever, or had a sore throat. I never realized that giving to many antibiotics would not be good for them. Thankfully my daughter-in-law and son do not take my granddaughters to the doctor everytime they have a sore throat. Guess we learn over the years.

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