Dutch research has shown that the development of permanent resistance by bacteria and fungi against antibiotics cannot be prevented in the longer-term. The only solution is to reduce the dependence on antibiotics by using these less.
The reduced effectiveness of antibiotics is not only an important issue for human health. For example, plants can have a gene inserted which enables them to secrete an antibiotic against fungi. Siemen Schoustra believes that the added value of these genetically-modified crops is smaller than thought, as the fungus soon becomes permanently resistant to the antibiotic so that the plants still become diseased. The first resistant plant fungi have already been found in India.
Evolution is the cause of the resistance. However this resistance should disappear again, as resistant fungi and bacteria grow less well in an environment without the substance they are resistant to and are therefore outstripped by their faster-growing non-resistant counterparts. Yet, some variants remain permanently resistant.
Dr Siemen Schoustra | alfa
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