Describe ONE approach, activity, or potential solution that experts in antibiotic resistance believe will help reduce or control the problem of antibiotic resistance.

The video clearly makes the point that bacteria of many types, for example, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Klebsiella pneumoniae (KPC), bacteria carrying the NDM-1 gene, and Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), are becoming increasingly resistant to the effects of antibiotics. (Note: People and animals do not become resistant to antibiotics! This is a common misconception.) The resulting difficulty in treating certain bacterial infections will likely continue to be an ongoing problem for years to come. Although the video does a great job of demonstrating the consequences of antibiotic resistance, it just briefly addresses how we got to this point and it discusses only one action (more antibiotic development) that might reduce the problem.

Since antibiotics became commercially available in the 1940s, a number of human actions have led us to the current problem of antibiotic resistance. Some of these actions include:

  • Doctors overusing and misusing antibiotics, including inappropriately prescribing them for viral infections (to keep patients happy and feeling well cared for)
  • Patients demanding antibiotics to treat viral infections (because they think viruses and bacteria are more or less the same things, and therefore antibiotics should work against both types of microbes)
  • Failure by patients to take their antibiotics exactly as prescribed (for example, stopping treatment when they feel better instead of when the prescription is gone, saving unused antibiotics for the next time they get sick, or sharing antibiotics with friends or family)
  • Using antibiotics in animal feed to make animals grow faster by preventing bacterial diseases
  • Formulating antibacterial soaps that contain antimicrobial chemicals (some of these chemicals are closely related to antibiotics)
  • The ability to travel rapidly around the world which can result in movement of resistant bacteria to new areas (as shown in the video, antibiotic resistance is a problem in both developed and less developed countries, and there is no regulation of antibiotic sales and use in many less developed countries which can exacerbate the problem)

Health care providers and public health workers face a formidable challenge in convincing people to change the behaviors and practices listed above. In this assignment, you will use the information provided by the video and at least one outside source, add a healthy dose of critical thinking, and then address ONE possible solution that would potentially mitigate the problem of antibiotic resistance.

You will need at least 1 outside source of information (book or internet). Several potential reliable sources of information for this topic are:

You may also find a resource on your own, but you may NOT use sites such as Wikipedia,,, personal blogs, or any site that is attempting to sell a product.

After researching, you will need to integrate the information you gathered from the video and outside sources, and then demonstrate your critical thinking skills by answering the following three items in your paper (rather than writing a formal paper, please number each answer to expedite the grading process):

  1. Describe ONE approach, activity, or potential solution that experts in antibiotic resistance believe will help reduce or control the problem of antibiotic resistance. (3 pts)
  2. Discuss the pros and cons of this suggested course of action. Why might the course of action be expected to work well? Why might it not be expected to work well? Why might some people be willing and others unwilling to change their way of doing things? (4 pts)
  3. Use information from the video and/or your outside source(s) to explain the potential consequences and implications of ignoring the problem of antibiotic resistance. In other words, why should we all care about antibiotic resistance? (3 pts)

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