Chapter 16: Adaption and selection regarding antibiotic resistance

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  • Created by: Natasha
  • Created on: 24-03-13 11:55


These work by interfering with prokaryote metabolism but leave host cells working normally. Basically they can work in one of three different ways:

  • They prevent the formation of bacterial cell walls, leaving them liable to absorb water by osmosis, swell and burst (osmotic lysis)
  • They interfere with DNA replication 
  • They interefere with protein sythesis 

The bacteria fight back: antibiotic resistance 

Resistance develops when bacterial genes mutate, forming new alleles. Resistance alleles make proteins that in some way make the indiviudal bacterium resist the killing action of the antibiotic. There are several possible modes of action:

  • The protein breaks down the antibiotic 
  • The protein alters membrane permeability so…


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