Overuse of Antibiotics in Our Society Name Institution Date Overuse of Antibiotics in Our Society The human body is composed of about 1013 human cells, and plays host to about 1014 bacteria. These groups of micro-organisms are commonly known as normal flora…
The normal flora also harms the human body by promoting disease. Some components of the normal flora namely the commensals, neither harm nor benefit the human body. The normal floras are found in every part of the human body, and each part has specific microorganisms adapted to the particular area. There are skin flora, nasopharyngeal flora, intestinal flora and urogenital flora among other flora. As explained by Shlaes (2010), use of antibiotics may lead to loss of lactobacillus which forms part of the urogenital flora. Lactobacillus keeps the female reproductive organs’ pH level at about 4.5 which is hostile to pathogenic microorganisms. Therefore, loss of lactobacillus leads to higher pH levels, which may lead to candida invasion and yeast infection. Antibiotics were also previously used to kill the H. pylori bacteria that resides in the human stomach of gastric ulcers patients. Recent studies, however, suggest that the bacteria may not be a causal agent of the ulcers but just part of the normal flora. As described by Pelczar (2011), microbes can be found everywhere on earth. They are found in the soil, in water, in air and on plants and animals. The human body is covered in many different kinds of microbes. The few sterile parts of the human body free from microbes include the brain, lungs and the circulatory system. The human body, as a host to microbes, has three different kinds of symbiotic relationships with microbes of different kinds. Mutualist relationship is where both the host and the microbe benefit from each other. A commensalistic relationship is where neither the microbe nor the host seems to obtain any benefit or harm from the relationship. A parasitic or pathogenic relationship is where the microbe benefits while the host is harmed by the presence of the microbe. A parasitic relationship is where the microbe benefits from the host, while a pathogenic relationship is where the microbe causes harm to the host. According to Pelczar (2011), normal flora microbes fall under two broad categories. These are the resident microbes and transient microbes. Resident microbes are mainly found on the skin, in the digestive tract, in the mucous membranes, in parts of the respiratory system and parts of the urogenital system. Transient microbes visit the human body and some try to colonize parts of the human host body. However, this usually fails owing to competition from resident microbes, protective action by human immune system and human body changes that inhibit the settlement of transient microbes. Most microbes forming the normal flora are beneficial to the human body. Nevertheless, some changes may occur that make these microbes become harmful to the human body. Dysfunctions in the human immune system may result in overpopulation of normal flora or their migration to areas where they are not ordinarily found. Additionally, when broad spectrum antibiotics are administered on a body the resident microbes may be annihilated and pathogenic microbes may gain an advantage. Physical trauma, such as invasive surgery procedures, may introduce microbes into areas where they are not normally found. As expounded by Shlaes (2010) antibiotics are one of the greatest advances in medicine and their use began in the 1940’s. They are used to fight bacterial infections, some fungal infections and some parasitic microbes. However, they are ineffective against viral infections. Antibiotics kill bacteria in the human body and ...
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