Imagine a patient who gets multiple treatments with antibiotics, and didn't really need them (bacterial infection, but would have gotten healthy without antibiotics). Is it the same patient who is at risk of developing antibiotics resistance, or is it the people who this patient pass on the disease to while sick, who are at risk of developing a resistant disease?

From what I understand (and please correct me), the original patient (we assume) defeats these pathogens and also develops antibodies for them. During the later stage of the disease, while the patients immune system together with the antibiotics kill the bacteria, some of the bacteria will survive for longer than others. These can be to some extent resistant to the antibiotics even if they end up being killed by the patient's own immune system.

Before all of the bacteria are killed off in the original patient, they will still be able to spread to other people. Then these new patients have to deal with the same disease, but now unaided by antibiotics because they face only the subset of the strain that is now resistant.

So the reason overuse of antibiotics is dangerous is because others will suffer from it. Is this reasoning accurate at all, or completely flawed?

  • For reasons mentioned in this post and in How to Ask, we require prior research information when asking questions. Please help us to help you and edit your question to provide more information on what you have read about antibiotic resistance, and any problems you are having understanding your research. This helps to provide an answer which will be more helpful. If you found nothing, what did you Google? Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 12:31
  • Your question is confusing to me too as it seems to be about antibiotic resistance but you tagged it antibacterial resistance. Can you clarify that bit for me please? Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 12:31


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