Changing Pathogens GCSE AQA Biology

  • Created by: Caitlinyx
  • Created on: 24-04-13 18:32
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  • Changing Pathogens
    • Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
      • Some bacteria are becoming resistant because of mutation and natural selection
      • Normally antibiotics kill non-resistant bacteria. However, individudual reistant bacteria (formed by mutation) reproduce and form a population of resistant bacteria
      • Antibiotics are not used to treat non-serious infections anymore in the hope to slow down the increase in resistant bacteria
      • it is important not to overuse antibiotics
      • Some antibiotics treat specific bacteria, and some are more general. It is imprtant to only use the one you need
    • MRSA
      • As doctors and nurses move from different patients they spread resistant bacteria
      • MRSA contributes to 1000 deaths in UK hospitals per year
      • How to stop the spread
        • Antibiotics should only be used when really needed
        • Specific bacteria should be treated by specific antibiotics
        • Medical staff should wash hands with water, soap or alcohol gel between patients. They should wear disposible clothing or clothing that is sterilised regulary
        • Visitors should wash their hands when they leave or enter the hospital
        • Patients infected with resistant bacteria should be isolated
        • Hospitals should be kept clean
    • Mutation and Pandemics
      • A problem with mutating pathogens is that it can form new forms of disease and these new strains can spread quickly as no one is immune and there is no effective treatment
      • With modern travel new strains of mutated pathogens can spread quickly
      • Flu
        • The flu virus mutates very quickly and every year there are new strains and the existing immunisation is no longer useful, so they have to develop a new one
        • There may be a flu epidemic (in one country) or pandemic (across several countries). In 1918-19 a new flu strains killed 40 million people across the world
        • In 2009 there was a new strain of flu called swine flu which spread very fast because of modern travel. Countries worked together to keep the death toll low




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