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Research

Smoking May Increase Risk Of Antibiotic Resistance

In today’s world, medical science has come a long way. There are now more advancements than ever before. This is why many of the problems of the past which were responsible for millions of deaths no longer exist.

For example, health issues like tuberculosis and plague are no longer as common. Even if a person develops either of the diseases, there is effective treatment available.

However, at the same time, there is also an increase in new health challenges. For instance, perhaps the most worrisome problem is antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic resistance happens when foreign invaders are no longer affected by medication. Many of the strains of fungus and bacteria today no longer respond to the treatment. This means that the common, treatable issues may potentially become dangerous and fatal.

In addition, there is also a type of Urinary tract infection which does not respond to four different medicines. Consequently, the infection becomes harmful and can no longer be treated. This may also pave the way for the diseases from the past to make a comeback.

Therefore, there is more and more research regarding antibiotic resistance. Researchers are looking for ways to prevent the microbes from becoming resistant to drugs. Similarly, a new study looks at the factors affecting Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus).

More specifically, it looks at the role of smoking on this microbe. The findings of the study appear in the journal Scientific Reports. Maisem Laabei from the University of Bath is the leading author of the study.

Read the study here.

What Was the Research Method?

Since antibiotic resistance is becoming a huge problem, research on it was mandatory. Additionally, Dr. Laabei states that there is no study that looks at the impact of smoking on microbes in the body. This is especially for microbes in the nasopharyngeal cavity.

RELATED: Smoking Does Not Only Cause Cancer, but it may also damage eyes too 

The main reason for studying Staphylococcus aureus, as said by the researchers, was its prevalence. The bacteria are very common in the human body. It can cause a lot of health issues. So, the researchers wanted to check if smoking had any special effects on it.

Staphylococcus aureus is actually present in the majority of the people. A good thirty to sixty percent of the people have it in their nasal cavity. The bacteria play a role not only in trivial health issues but also the harmful ones.

For example, common skin infections are caused by S. aureus. Secondly, they can also cause the development of endocarditis and pneumonia.

The strain Methicillin-resistant S. aureus is particularly responsible for many infections which result in deaths. In the recent study, six superbug strains of this bacteria were seen.

What Was the Result?

After looking at the strains, it was found that there was a different effect on every strain. A few of them were far more resistant to medication than others. For instance, some became strongly resistant to rifampicin. Others became more invasive and intense.

The researchers were expecting the bacteria to be affected but the intensity was surprising. They state that they did not anticipate smoking cigarette to play such a major role. This study, as said by the researchers, shows yet another reason to stop smoking.

 

Marilyn Baer

Marilyn is a graduate of Biochemistry. Prior to joining Top Health News, she has spent many years in research. Her specializations are on proteomics and cellular biology analysis.

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