Why does antimicrobial resistance occur?

Antimicrobial resistance has become a topical issue of growing concern. The appearance of cases where drugs are not completely effective against certain pathologies has been increasing over the last few years, putting the public health welfare in the spotlight. Under this premise, in HIFAS Biologics, we strive to be at the forefront of the fight against antibiotic resistance, trying to find in the fungi kingdom possible alternatives to current drugs. But understanding this challenge is intrinsic to understanding the source of the problem: why does this resistance occur and how can we address it effectively?

Natural Antimicrobial Resistance

Antimicrobial resistance can arise naturally when a pathogen, such as a bacterium, is innately immune to treatment due to its own cellular structure. Some microorganisms possess characteristics that allow them to resist the effects of certain antibiotics, making it difficult to treat the infections they cause. In addition, our own organism can alter the efficacy of antibiotics, resulting in less effective treatments against infectious diseases.

Bacterial Mutation Resistance

Another important mechanism contributing to antimicrobial resistance is bacterial mutation. Bacteria have the ability to rapidly change and adapt to their environment, which can include developing resistance to drug treatments. These mutations can arise randomly in bacterial cells, allowing them to become immune to the effects of antibiotics. This adaptability of bacteria represents a significant challenge in the treatment of infections, as it requires the constant development of new antibiotics to combat resistant strains.

Gene Transfer and Antimicrobial Resistance

Gene transfer is another key mechanism driving antibiotic resistance. Bacteria can transfer genes among themselves, including genes encoding enzymes that enable them to defend against antibiotics. This ability to share and acquire resistance genes between different bacterial strains further contributes to the spread of antimicrobial resistance and complicates efforts to control and treat infections.

In the face of these growing public health challenges, research and development of new antibiotics is an urgent priority. Our focus on biological research enables us to explore new avenues and strategies to overcome antimicrobial resistance and provide effective treatment options for antibiotic-resistant infections.